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Publication Information

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Title: Ascertaining Elk Impacts on Plant Communities

Author: Johnson, Charles G.; Vavra, Marty; Willis, Mitch; Parks, Catherine G.;

Date: 2013

Source: Rangelands

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Managers charged with managing landscapes influenced by elk are challenged to establish monitoring protocols that identify when impacts are responsible for declining ecological condition. We assessed the impact of elk herbivory on plant communities on an elk winter range by comparing canopy cover of common species that represented subjectively selected heavy and light elk impacts. Winter elk use has little direct impact on existing bunchgrasses, but winter elk traffic disrupts soils and provides the potential for invasive plant establishment.

Keywords: trampling, herbivory, plant communities, elk, winter range

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.



Johnson, Charles G.; Vavra, Marty; Willis, Mitch; Parks, Catherine G. 2013. Ascertaining Elk Impacts on Plant Communities. Rangelands. 35(3): 11-15.


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