High white-tailed deer densities benefit graminoids and contribute to biotic homogenization of forest ground-layer vegetation

  title={High white-tailed deer densities benefit graminoids and contribute to biotic homogenization of forest ground-layer vegetation},
  author={Thomas P. Rooney},
  journal={Plant Ecology},
  • T. Rooney
  • Published 1 May 2009
  • Environmental Science
  • Plant Ecology
Biotic homogenization, with its emphasis on invasions, extinctions, and convergence in taxonomic similarity, provides an important framework for investigating changes in biodiversity across scales. [] Key Method I report the effects of 16 years of deer exclusion in a hemlock-northern hardwood stand in N Wisconsin using a block design. Species composition showed greater convergence in control plots than exclosure plots, indicating deer can drive biotic homogenization at the stand level. Total percent cover is…

Long-Term Deer Exclusion Has Complex Effects On A Suburban Forest Understory

The results suggest that deer exclusion had contrasting effects on species richness, depending on plant life form, but that overall richness of both exotic and native plants declined with deer exclusion, and site heterogeneity remained an important driver of vegetation dynamics even in the midst of high deer densities.

Experimental effects of white-tailed deer and an invasive shrub on forest ant communities

Strong indirect effects of herbivores and honeysuckle on litter-dwelling ants are indicated, mediated through changes in litter biomass and likely vegetation structure, which may alter ant-mediated ecosystem processes.

Winter Browse Selection by White-Tailed Deer and Implications for Bottomland Forest Restoration in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, USA

The results suggest that selective foraging could promote the expansion of invasive species and/or alter tree species composition in bottomland forest restorations.

Ungulate browsers promote herbaceous layer diversity in logged temperate forests

Browsing by deer + moose resulted in strong changes to the composition, structure, and diversity of forest herbaceous layers, relative to areas free of ungulates and areas browed by white‐tailed deer alone, providing evidence that moderate browsing in forest openings can promote both herbaceous and woody plant diversity.

Ungulate winter habitat selection as a driver of herbaceous-layer heterogeneity in northern temperate forests

Concentrated seasonal habitat use by ungulates may amplify their influence on ecosystem processes. For example, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) depend on forests of coniferous trees, such

Recovery of the Herb Layer in a Southern Appalachian Forest Following Chronic Herbivory by Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

This experiment demonstrated that many forest herbs, especially those in the Liliaceae sensu lato, tolerate repeated browsing without flowering, probably for decades, as well as the impacts of game management on biodiversity.

Long-term impacts of deer exclosures on mixed-oak forest composition at the Valley Forge National Historical Park, Pennsylvania, USA1

Abstract Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman (white-tailed deer) populations at Valley Forge National Historical Park in southeastern Pennsylvania have ranged from 70 to 93 deer per square km over the

Pervasive moose browsing in boreal forests alters successional trajectories by severely suppressing keystone species

Large herbivores can shape young forest stands and determine the successional trajectory of forested ecosystems by selectively browsing palatable species at the sapling stage. Moose (Alces alces) is



Vegetative Legacy of a Protected Deer Herd in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Abstract Overabundant deer populations pose significant challenges to the conservation of native plant communities. We examined the effects of a protected white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus


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.

Large-scale trophic interactions: White-tailed deer growth and forest understory1

In the trade-off between growth and body reserves, the size of mature deer is likely adjusted to forage intake in order to balance absolute nutrient needs, a response allowing increased foraging efficiency of depleted resources.

Direct and indirect effects of white-tailed deer in forest ecosystems

Development of tree regeneration in fern-dominated forest understories after reduction of deer browsing

The ferns showed differential interference among species with seedling development after reduction of deer browse on the Quabbin Reservation watershed protection forest in central Massachusetts.

Biotic Impoverishment and Homogenization in Unfragmented Forest Understory Communities

Understory communities in 62 upland forest stands in northern Wisconsin are resurveyed to demonstrate the power of quantitative multistand data for assessing ecological change and identify overabundant deer as a key driver of community change.

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.

Herbivory constrains survival, reproduction and mutualisms when restoring nine temperate forest herbs

Herbivory constrains survival, reproduction and mutualisms when restoring nine deciduous forest herbs and test the feasibility of herbaceous plant restoration in spite of a large 0.