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Modification of mixed-conifer forests by ruminant herbivores in the Blue Mountains ecological province.Author(s): Robert A. Riggs; Arthur R. Tiedemann; John G. Cook; et al.
Source: Res. Pap. PNW-RP-527. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 77 p
Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionSecondary plant succession and the accumulation of biomass and nutrients were documented at seven ruminant exclosures in Abies and Pseudotsuga forests variously disturbed by logging, burning, and grass seeding. Long-term (25 or more years) foraging by Rocky Mountain mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) suppressed the development of deciduous shrubs. Ruminant herbivores influenced vegetation to extents equal to those of the initial episodic disturbances. Food preferences of elk were linearly correlated with long-term development of plant taxa. Accumulations of understory and forest floor biomasses were greater inside exclosures than outside. Accumulations of nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and potassium were greater inside exclosures than outside.
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CitationRiggs, Robert A.; Tiedemann, Arthur R.; Cook, John G.; et al. 2000. Modification of mixed-conifer forests by ruminant herbivores in the Blue Mountains ecological province. Res. Pap. PNW-RP-527. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 77 p
KeywordsAbies, biomass, Bos, Cervus, cycling, disturbance, ecosystem, fire, forest, herbivory, logging, nutrients, Odocoileus, Ovis, productivity, Pseudotsuga, seeding, shrubs, site, succession, understory
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