Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.6 MB)

Title: Population of North American elk: effects on plant diversity

Author: Stewart, Kelley M.; Bowyer, R. Terry; Kier, John G.; Dick, Brian L.; Ruess, Roger W.;

Date: 2009

Source: Oecologia. 10 p.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: We tested for indirect effects of population density of large herbivores on plant species richness and diversity in a montane ecosystem, where increased net aboveground primary productivity (NAPP) in response to low levels of herbivory has been reported. We documented a positive, linear relationship between plant-species diversity and richness with NAPP. Structural equation modeling revealed significant indirect relationships between population density of herbivores, NAPP, and species diversity.We observed an indirect effect of density-dependent processes in large, herbivorous mammals and species diversity of plants through changes in NAPP in this montane ecosystem. Changes in species diversity of plants in response to herbivory may be more indirect in ecosystems with long histories of herbivory. Those subtle or indirect effects of herbivory may have strong effects on ecosystem functioning, but may be overlooked in plant communities that are relatively resilient to herbivory.

Keywords: North American elk, herbivore optimization, NAPP, species diversity, species richness, structural equation models

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Stewart, K.M.; Bowyer, R.T.; Kier, J.G.; Dick, B.L.; Ruess, R.W. 2009. Population of North American elk: effects on plant diversity. Oecologia. 10 p.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.