Indicators of Browsing Pressure Suggest Constraints on Riparian Willows: A Case Study From the Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming
cascading ecosystem effects
riparian ecosystem state
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CitationBower, M. R., Decker, L. A., Nowakowski, A. L., & William, C. L. (2014). Indicators of Browsing Pressure Suggest Constraints on Riparian Willows: A Case Study From the Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming. Rangelands, 36(6), 22-30.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
AbstractOn the Ground • We completed a landscape-scale assessment of ungulate browsing pressure on the southeastern portion of the Bighorn National Forest and found evidence of constraints on willow morphology and height. • To better understand these apparent constraints over time and to enable adaptive habitat management, we propose development of a willow monitoring scheme based on an experimental design that controls for site potential and isolates the contributions of individual ungulate species to total willow browse. • Further investigating the current status of riparian willows in terms of population vital rates and future distribution trends could be particularly important to help determine the cause of a recent decline in beaver abundance.