The University of Arizona

Ascertaining Elk Impacts on Plant Communities

Charles G. Johnson, Marty Vavra, Mitch Willis, Catherine G. Parks

Abstract


Managers charged with managing landscapes in uenced by ungulates are challenged to establish monitoring protocols that identify when impacts are responsible for declining ecological condition. It is dif cult to develop monitoring protocols that result in defensible data under the time and resource constraints realized by land managers. Ungulates may impact their environment by foraging and trampling, which in uence plant composition, abundance, stature, and stability. Through foraging, ungulates directly impact their environment by in uencing changes in the plant commu- nity by suppressing selected forage plants.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_rangelands_v35i3_johnson


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