Deer Change the Landscape Indirectly
July 6, 2019
Deer alter many facets of the understorey environment, such as light availability, soil compaction and depth of the soil E horizon, which, in turn, appear to mediate variation in plant communities. Those environmental modifications likely compound direct impacts of herbivory as drivers of understorey community change. Our results provide evidence that deer effects on the environment have important implications for forest composition. Thus, we suggest a re-examination of the common assumption that understorey community shifts stem primarily from tissue removal.
Author(s): Autumn E. Sabo, Katie L. Frerker, Donald M. Waller, Eric L. Kruger