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Large Predators, Deer, And Trophic Cascades In Boreal And Temperate Ecosystems

Historically, humans have modified many boreal and temperate ecosystems by decimating native animal populations and often substituting domesticated stock, thereby influencing food webs and simplifying interactions among species. Large predators, especially, have been subject to worldwide persecution. The profound ecological … read more

Wolves Facilitate the Recovery of Browse-Sensitive Understory Herbs in Wisconsin Forests

We asked whether wolf re-colonization would facilitate increased growth and reproduction of three browse-sensitive plant species. We hypothesized plant size and the proportion of reproductive individuals would be lowest in areas with no wolves, intermediate where wolves had been present … read more

Recolonizing Wolves Trigger a Trophic Cascade in Wisconsin

We tested the hypothesis that wolves are reducing local browse intensity by white-tailed deer, thus indirectly mitigating the biotic impoverishment of understorey plant communities in northern Wisconsin. To assess the potential for such a top-down trophic cascade response, we developed … read more

Long-Term Regional Shifts in Plant Community Composition Are Largely Explained by Local Deer Impact Experiments

The fact that herbivores and predators exert top-down effects to alter community composition and dynamics at lower trophic levels is no longer controversial, yet we still lack evidence of the full nature, extent, and longer-term effects of these impacts. Here, … read more

Is Science in Danger of Sanctifying the Wolf?

Historically the wolf (Canis lupus) was hated and extirpated from most of the contiguous United States. The federal Endangered Species Act fostered wolf protection and reintroduction which improved the species’ image. Wolf populations reached biological recovery in the Northern Rocky … read more

Wolves, Deer, Maples and Wildflowers

Herbivores can be major drivers of environmental change, altering plant community structure and changing biodiversity through the amount and species of plants consumed. If natural predators can reduce herbivore numbers and/or alter herbivore foraging behavior, then predators may reduce herbivory … read more

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