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Keyword: herbivory

Does white-tailed deer density affect tree stocking in forests of the eastern United States?

Publications Posted on: August 19, 2019
Background: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) have increased during the past century in the USA. Greater deer densities may reduce tree regeneration, leading to forests that are understocked, where growing space is not filled completely by trees. Despite deer pressure, a major transition in eastern forests has resulted in increased tree densities.

Fire and fuel treatments increase tree resistance to bark beetles

Science Spotlights Posted on: April 10, 2018
The frequency of fire in low-elevation coniferous forests in western North America has greatly declined since the late 1800s. In many areas, this has increased tree density, increased the proportion of shade-tolerant species, reduced resource availability, and increased forest susceptibility to forest insect pests and high-severity wildfire. This study investigated how low-intensity fire affects tree defenses and whether fuel treatments impact resistance to a mountain pine beetle outbreak.

The tortoise and the hare: Can the slow native plant win?

Science Spotlights Posted on: May 03, 2017
It has been suggested that exotic plants will be more successful than native plant species as a result of climate change. This is because exotics often exhibit stronger responses to disturbance, faster growth rates, and greater plasticity. In this study, we show that climate change can actually shift the balance in favor of natives when it creates conditions that favor the slower more "tortoise-like" strategies of some natives.

The tortoise and the hare: Reducing resource availability shifts competitive balance between plant species

Publications Posted on: April 14, 2017
Determining how changes in abiotic conditions influence community interactions is a fundamental challenge in ecology. Meeting this challenge is increasingly imperative in the Anthropocene where climate change and exotic species introductions alter abiotic context and biotic composition to reshuffle natural systems.

Aboveground vertebrate and invertebrate herbivore impacts on net N mineralization in subalpine grasslands

Publications Posted on: August 18, 2016
Aboveground herbivores have strong effects on grassland nitrogen (N) cycling. They can accelerate or slow down soil net N mineralization depending on ecosystem productivity and grazing intensity. Yet, most studies only consider either ungulates or invertebrate herbivores, but not the combined effect of several functionally different vertebrate and invertebrate herbivore species or guilds.

Aspen response to management

Science Spotlights Posted on: July 26, 2016
There is considerable interest in the growth and mortality of quaking aspen in the western United States. Looking at the past 10 years of silvicultural treatments to promote aspen regeneration we quantified the factors most influential on subsequent reproduction. Herbivory pressure (domestic and native ungulates) and the presence of advance reproduction best predicted aspen regeneration response.

Long‑term ungulate exclusion reduces fungal symbiont prevalence in native grasslands

Publications Posted on: July 15, 2016
When symbionts are inherited by offspring, they can have substantial ecological and evolutionary consequences because they occur in all host life stages. Although natural frequencies of inherited symbionts are commonly

Observed and anticipated impacts of drought on forest insects and diseases in the United States

Publications Posted on: July 15, 2016
Future anthropogenic-induced changes to the earth’s climate will likely include increases in temperature and changes in precipitation that will increase the frequency and severity of droughts. Insects and fungal diseases are important disturbances in forests, yet understanding of the role of drought in outbreaks of these agents is limited. Current knowledge concerning the effects of drought on herbivorous insect and pathogen outbreaks in U.S.

Herbivory and advance reproduction influence quaking aspen regeneration response to management in southern Utah, USA

Publications Posted on: May 27, 2016
Recent concern regarding the potential decline of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) forests in the western United States has sparked concern over whether the species can be effectively regenerated. Using a retrospective approach, we quantified the response of regenerating aspen stems to an ordinary set of silvicultural treatments conducted over approximately the past decade in southern Utah, USA.

Low-severity fire increases tree defense against bark beetle attacks

Publications Posted on: April 21, 2016
Induced defense is a common plant strategy in response to herbivory. Although abiotic damage, such as physical wounding, pruning, and heating, can induce plant defense, the effect of such damage by large-scale abiotic disturbances on induced defenses has not been explored and could have important consequences for plant survival facing future biotic disturbances.

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