Landscape Ecol (2017) 32:2281–2295 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-017-0568-x RESEARCH ARTICLE Spatio-temporal variation in foodscapes modiﬁes deer browsing impact on vegetation . . . . Alejandro A. Royo David W. Kramer Karl V. Miller Nathan P. Nibbelink Susan L. Stout Received: 25 April 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published online: 13 September 2017 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. (outside the USA) 2017 Abstract forest sites distributed across a 6500 km area in Context Ungulate browsers often alter plant compo- Pennsylvania, USA. Experimental sites were embed- sition and reduce diversity in forests worldwide, yet ded within landscapes with varying levels of habitat our ability to predict browse impact on vegetation composition and deer densities. remains equivocal. Theory suggests, however, that Results Browsing reduced vegetation richness and ungulate distribution and foraging impacts are shaped cover by as much as 53 and 70%, respectively; by scale-dependent decisions based on variation in however, we found browse impact was modulated by habitat composition and structure encountered within variation in the relative abundance of managed their home range. habitats that alter forage availability. Speciﬁcally, Objective Examine how variation in habitat compo- relative to fenced areas, browse impact weakened and sition at landscape (259 ha) scales modulates browse ultimately
Landscape Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 13, 2017
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