Ecology of bison, elk, and vegetation in an arid ecosystem



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Herbivory has profound effects on vegetation production and structure in many different plant communities. The influence of herbivory on plants and ultimately ecosystem processes is shaped by the types of plants consumed, the intensity of herbivory, the evolutionary history of grazing, and the availability of water and nutrients to plants. The effect of ungulate herbivores on vegetation is of great interest to ecologists, land managers and agriculturalists. In addition, the Department of Interior recently established a Bison Conservation Initiative to provide for the conservation and restoration of North American plains- and wood bison, which includes establishing new populations and expanding existing populations. The San Luis Valley, Colorado, is being considered as a potential location for a bison conservation herd. Resource managers need to know the vegetation impacts of adding a second large ungulate to a system that already has elk.

Study Area

Publication type Thesis
Publication Subtype Thesis
Title Ecology of bison, elk, and vegetation in an arid ecosystem
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Colorado State University, Program in Ecology
Publisher location Fort Collins, CO
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description ix, 95 p.
Public Comments Thesis adviser: N. Thompson Hobbs
Country United States
State Colorado
Other Geospatial San Luis Valley
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