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Title: Long-term biological legacies of herbivore density in a landscape-scale experiment: forest understories reflect past deer density treatments for at least 20 years

Author: Nuttle, Tim; Ristau, Todd E.; Royo, Alejandro A.;

Date: 2014

Source: Journal of Ecology. 102: 221-228.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Ungulate browsers, when at high densities, are major drivers of vegetation change in forests world-wide. Their effects operate via a variety of generalizable mechanisms related to plant palatability and relative growth rate with respect to browsing pressure. Though such impacts are obviously long-lasting when they determine composition of tree regeneration, we document in a unique long-term (30 year) experiment that biological legacies of initial deer density persist in the understorey herbaceous vegetation at least 20 years after deer densities were equalized.

Keywords: biological legacy, determinants of plant community diversity and structure, eastern deciduous forest, ferns, Odocoileus virginianus, Pennsylvania, plant–herbivore interactions, whitetailed deer

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Citation:


Nuttle, Tim; Ristau, Todd E.; Royo, Alejandro A. 2014. Long-term biological legacies of herbivore density in a landscape-scale experiment: forest understories reflect past deer density treatments for at least 20 years. Journal of Ecology. 102: 221-228.

 


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