Ecology and management of white‐tailed deer in a changing world

  title={Ecology and management of white‐tailed deer in a changing world},
  author={William J. McShea},
  journal={Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences},
  • W. McShea
  • Published 1 February 2012
  • Environmental Science
  • Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Due to chronic high densities and preferential browsing, white‐tailed deer have significant impacts on woody and herbaceous plants. These impacts have ramifications for animals that share resources and across trophic levels. High deer densities result from an absence of predators or high plant productivity, often due to human habitat modifications, and from the desires of stakeholders that set deer management goals based on cultural, rather than biological, carrying capacity. Success at… 

Predicting intensity of white-tailed deer herbivory in the Central Appalachian Mountains

In eastern North America, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) can have profound influences on forest biodiversity and forest successional processes. Moderate to high deer populations in the

Spatial factors of white-tailed deer herbivory assessment in the central Appalachian Mountains

The results suggest that one transect per square kilometer with a minimum of three tran Sectors may be sufficient for most browsing intensity survey requirements to assess herbivory impacts in the Appalachian region of Virginia.

Differential and interacting impacts of invasive plants and white-tailed deer in eastern U.S. forests

It may be most effective for managers to first reduce deer populations before investing in efforts to reduce invasive populations (except when invasions are at an early stage), and traditional approaches to managing deer should be rethink and reform to better integrate land vegetation with wildlife management.

Can managers compensate for coyote predation of white‐tailed deer?

Increased deer mortality from coyotes can be addressed through reduced hunting harvest of adult female deer in most circumstances throughout eastern North America, however, specific knowledge of adultFemale survival rates is important for making management decisions in areas where both neonate and adult survival may be affected by predation and other mortality factors.

Quantifying the White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Population in the Town of Hamilton, New York

Since the early 19th century, deer populations across the nation have increased due to a variety of different anthropogenically driven environmental as well as political circumstances. In many

The Influence of Local Forage Variability on White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Body Size at Fort Hood, Texas

Nutritional quality and availability is thought to regulate geographic patterns of variability in animal body size due to phenotypic plasticity. The purpose of this study is to determine how

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

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

A regional assessment of white-tailed deer effects on plant invasion

Analyses deriving insights from 23 research sites across the northeastern and east central US reveals that white-tailed deer lower native plant diversity and increase the fraction of the plant



Defining deer overabundance and threats to forest communities: From individual plants to landscape structure

Abstract Changes in habitat and reduction in predation and hunting pressure are two primary causes of high-density populations of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in many areas of eastern

Deer and Understory Plant Responses to a Large-Scale Herd Reduction on a Georgia State Park

Although the viability of lethal removal of deer from a park was demonstrated and post-reduction benefits were measured, increased reproduction by the residual deer population highlighted the need for continued deer management, including subsequent removals.


The net result of increased deer impact was an altered trajectory of vegetation development dominated by species avoided by deer or resilient to deer browsing, well below those observed in many eastern forests.

Ecological Impacts of Deer Overabundance

Given the influence of deer on other organisms and natural processes, ecologists should actively participate in efforts to understand, monitor, and reduce the impact of deer in natural ecosystems.

Predictors of white-tailed deer grazing intensity in fragmented deciduous forests

Results show that parks and preserves with low densities of palatable plant species in the forest understory may be especially susceptible to effects of deer grazing, and changes in landscape composition should be an important consideration in the management of deer densities in areas designed to protect native forest communities.

Deer herbivory alters forest response to canopy decline caused by an exotic insect pest.

By changing species' competitive abilities, white-tailed deer herbivory alters the trajectory of forest response to this exotic insect pest and has the potential to shift future overstory composition.

Effects of White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on Plants, Plant Populations and Communities: A Review

Whereas deer density is clearly important in determining spatial and temporal variation in the presence and magnitude of deer effects, other factors that may modify the effects of deer density are poorly understood.

The white-tailed deer : a keystone herbivore

During the last 3 centuries, sweeping manipulations of habitat for agriculture, silviculture, and, to a lesser degree, game management have improved and expanded habitat for white-tailed deer