Skip to Main Content
Variable Acorn Crops: Responses of White-Tailed Deer and Other Mast ConsumersAuthor(s): William J. McShea; Georg Schwede
Source: J. Mamm. 74(4):999-1006, 1993
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: Download Publication (680 KB)
DescriptionWe examined movements and behavior of female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) relative to the acorn mast-fall from 1986 through 1989 in a mature deciduous forest in Front Royal, Virginia. Ten white-tailed deer with radiotransmitters increased their home range to incorporate acorn-producing areas during mast-fall. Consumption of acorns by deer constituted ca. 50% of foraging time during peak mast-fall; average consumption rate was 0.75 acorns/min searching. Although the number of acorns eaten by deer was correlated with mast-fall, a prolonged time was spent searching for acorns after mast-fall. Deer consumed 70% of marked acorns placed out during mast-fall, while medium-sized animals (e.g., Tamias striatus, Sciurus niger, Sciurus carolinensis) consumed 61% of acorns placed out later in autumn. We hypothesize that high densities of deer may limit populations of more mast dependent species, particularly at low acorn-crop densities.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- 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.
CitationMcShea, William J.; Schwede, Georg. 1993. Variable Acorn Crops: Responses of White-Tailed Deer and Other Mast Consumers. J. Mamm. 74(4):999-1006, 1993
KeywordsOdocoileus virginianus, white-tailed deer, acorns, Virginia, sciurids
- Deer Habitat in the Ozark Forests of Arkansas
- White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fecal pellet decomposition is accelerated by the invasive earthworm Lumbricus terrestris
- Restoration of hard mast species for wildlife in Missouri using precocious flowering oak in the Missouri River floodplain, USA
XML: View XML