Monday, March 10, 2014

New Research Published - Deer proliferation disrupts a forest's natural growth

An article from DiTommaso et. al was recently published in the Journal PLOS ONE.  This research, titled 'Deer Browsing Delays Succession by Altering Aboveground Vegetation and Belowground Seed Banks' indicates that expanding deer populations can stall the development of forests and promote the growth of invasive plants. 

From a release about the article on Science Daily - (

Deer typically prefer to eat native, woody plants and rebuff invasive species. The study showed that when deer consume native plants, the non-native species are left to flourish, dropping seed in the soil.
"It's obvious that the deer are affecting the above-ground species, but it's like an iceberg. There are major effects below the soil surface. We are seeing a divergence of seeds contained within the soil from what should be there," says DiTommaso. "We are not seeing the seeds of woody plants. Instead, we're seeing an escalation of non-native seed and the virtual elimination of woody plant seeds."
See the full research article here:

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