The Science of Yellow Snow: White-tailed Deer may be Ruining their own Winter Havens June 3, 2013 Michigan

Michigan Deer Population, Management News and Information Archive

... “Altering the nitrogen availability in a hemlock stand may affect its ability to continue functioning as a deeryard by changing the types of plants that grow there,” said Murray, first author on the journal article [from the article]:  ..."Our results suggest that browsing ungulates affect spatial patterns of herb-layer cover and diversity through the excretion of nitrogenous wastes in small, discrete patches. Ungulate-excreted nitrogen deposition and herbivory was concentrated in the dormant season, allowing herb-layer plants a greater opportunity to benefit from nitrogen additions. Therefore, the impact of ungulates on nitrogen cycling in forest ecosystems varies with spatial scale and the seasonal timing of ungulate impacts. In this way, ungulates may function as a seasonally-dependent link between fine scale and landscape level ecological processes."  Read More:

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