High densities of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are believed to cause broad-scale forest regeneration failure and loss of plant diversity. But, the empirical basis for such presumptions is limited. We, therefore, conducted a survey in western Connecticut, USA, woodlots to examine how spatial variation in deer densities influences variation in impacts on plant species abundance, identity and diversity, and tree regeneration. We also used a Geographic Information System to quantify trends between land-cover type and deer density. Deer density was not correlated with any vegetation or land use variable. This suggests that deer density is not a leading factor determining variation in vegetation impacts across western Connecticut.
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Vol. 74 • No. 6