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Interactive effects of flooding and deer (Odocoileus virginianus) browsing on floodplain forest recruitment

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Floodplain forests have historically been resilient to the effects of flooding because the tree species that inhabit these ecosystems regenerate and grow quickly following disturbances. However, the intensity and selectivity of ungulate herbivory in floodplains has the potential to modify the community-level effects of flooding by delaying forest recruitment and leaving sites vulnerable to invasive species. We established a series of exclosures along an elevation gradient in an actively recruiting floodplain forest along the Upper Mississippi River prior to three large-magnitude flood events. Pre-flood browsing by Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer) ranged from 20% to 85% of all available stems, and reduced subsequent annual [...]

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  • Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC)

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Forest Ecology and Management 303: 11–19

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