Over-browsing in Pennsylvania creates a depauperate forest dominated by an understory tree: Results from a 60-year-old deer exclosure

  title={Over-browsing in Pennsylvania creates a depauperate forest dominated by an understory tree: Results from a 60-year-old deer exclosure},
  author={Morgan P. Kain and Loretta L. Battaglia and Alejandro A. Royo and Walter P. Carson},
Abstract We evaluated the impact of long-term over-browsing by white-tailed deer on the diversity and density of trees in a forest in the Allegheny High Plateau region of central Pennsylvania. We compared tree diversity and density inside a 60 year-old deer exclosure to an adjacent reference site. Browsing caused a 55–100% decline in density of four tree species (Prunus serotina, Acer saccharum, Betula lenta, Cornus alternifolia) and created a forest dominated (> 70% of all stems) by Acer… 
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
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.
Reversing legacy effects in the understory of an oak-dominated forest
This work evaluated how three key processes — understory fire, canopy gaps, and browsing — influenced tree species in east central West Virginia and found that fire caused significant reductions of seedlings and saplings of red maple and striped maple.
Long-term impacts of deer exclosures on mixed-oak forest composition at the Valley Forge National Historical Park , Pennsylvania , USA 1
ABRAMS, M. D. AND S. E. JOHNSON (School of Forest Resources, Forest Resources Building, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802). Long-term impacts of deer exclosures on mixed-oak forest
Biotic homogenization of the sapling layer in 19 late-successional and old-growth forest stands in Pennsylvania1
Despite relatively high canopy diversity across all stands, the understory of all stands was comprised of a small homogeneous subset of the canopy species, and understory layers had lower species diversity than their respective canopies and showed a significant lack of species intermediate in shade tolerance.
Intensive Selective Deer Browsing Favors Success of Asimina triloba (Paw Paw) a Native Tree Species
Evaluated effects of selective deer browsing on tree species abundance in an old-growth mesic/wet-mesic forest in central Illinois by repeated sampling of permanent study plots in 2003 and 2008 and relating changes in stem density between the two samples to the intensity of deer browsing of individual species.
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.


Chronic over browsing and biodiversity collapse in a forest understory in Pennsylvania: Results from a 60 year-old deer exclusion plot
The results confirm previous findings that demonstrate that browsing has caused 60–80% declines in herb and shrub richness regionally and provide information on shrub and herb abundance in the absence of browsing that may serve as a baseline to compare potential community recovery in the future.
Deer impacts on forest ecosystems: a North American perspective
Summary White-tailed deer have increased in abundance and expanded their geographic range in North America over the past century, and now exist at higher densities than they have in the past several
Plant communities growing on boulders in the Allegheny National Forest: Evidence for boulders as refugia from deer and as a bioassay of overbrowsing
It is concluded that deer are damaging the very nature of these hardwood forests through overbrowsing, and boulders could serve as an inexpensive bioassay of deer impact on vegetation whenever they are common and large enough.
Evaluating relationships among tree growth rate, shade tolerance, and browse tolerance following disturbance in an eastern deciduous forest.
It is indicated that browsing and light availability operated simultaneously to influence plant growth within these forests, unless they can account for how plant performance varies as a result of a variety of environmental factors, including herbivory.
Effects of White-tailed Deer on Tsuga canadensis Regeneration: Evidence of Microsites as Refugia from Browsing
Surveying mounds in an old growth Pennsylvania forest found certain microsites continue to provide refugia from browsing 18 y after disturbance and, thereby, enhance regeneration of Tsuga canadensis.
On the formation of dense understory layers in forests worldwide: consequences and implications for forest dynamics, biodiversity, and succession
A model linking the factors predisposing the formation of recalcitrant understory layers with their interference mechanisms and subsequent impacts on succession is presented and it is proposed that their presence constricts floristic diversity and ar- gue for their explicit inclusion in forest dynamics theory and models.
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Deer Browsing Creates Rock Refugia Gardens on Large Boulders in the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania
These Rock Refugia Gardens demonstrate the pervasive and deleterious impact that deer are having on plant species diversity and forest regeneration in the Allegheny National Forest and likely elsewhere in the eastern US where these vertebrates are abundant.
Forest seedling demography and seedling diversity are commonly impacted by spatially variable microhabitat effects on germination and establishment. For many forests of the eastern United States,