2011: Forest Plant Community Shifts in Response to White-tailed Deer


2011: Forest Plant Community Shifts in Response to White-tailed Deer

Katie Frerker, Autumn Sabo, Donald Waller

University of Wisconsin – Madison

RESEARCH SUMMARY

Researchers used results from a set of replicated experiments on the local impacts of deer to evaluate

the extent to which such impacts account for half-century shifts in forest plant communities across the

upper Midwest. Researchers surveyed seventeen deer exclosures. The Friends research grant funded

surveys that were conducted at Peninsula State Park’s three deer exclosures.

Data analysis indicates that the eating habits of white-tailed deer are the cause of at least 40 percent

of flora species changes in the forests of northern Wisconsin and Michigan over the past 60 years.