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1 March 2012 Deer Impacts on Seed Banks and Saplings in Eastern New York
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Abstract

Selective browsing by Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed Deer) has shifted plant communities in the Northeast, but the effects of seed dispersal by deer on forest seed banks are unknown. We used data from deer exclosures in hunted and unhunted properties in southeastern New York to determine whether deer browsing and different deer management histories have altered composition and/or abundance of forest saplings and seed banks. Results indicate that deer did not alter species richness, abundance, or composition in seed banks in either hunted or unhunted areas. Deer did, however, decrease sapling density and richness at the unhunted site but not at the hunted site. We conclude that impacts of unmanaged deer populations are greater on sapling recruitment than on seed banks.

Carrie R. Levine, Raymond J. Winchcombe, Charles D. Canham, Lynn M. Christenson, and Margaret L. Ronsheim "Deer Impacts on Seed Banks and Saplings in Eastern New York," Northeastern Naturalist 19(1), 49-66, (1 March 2012). https://doi.org/10.1656/045.019.0104
Published: 1 March 2012
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