Botanical composition of bison diets on tallgrass prairie in Oklahoma
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CitationCoppedge, B. R., Leslie, D. M., & Shaw, J. H. (1998). Botanical composition of bison diets on tallgrass prairie in Oklahoma. Journal of Range Management, 51(4), 379-382.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractDiets of bison (Bison bison L.) were examined using microhistological fecal analysis in a 2-yr study on a tallgrass prairie site in northcentral Oklahoma. Graminoids comprised at least 98% of the diet across all seasons. Bison showed strong feeding selectivity; grasses and sedges formed a significantly higher proportion of diets than was generally available in herbage on the landscape. Bison avoided forbs, which were less than or equal to 2% of the diet. Sedges were a large (17-44%) diet component in winter and spring but decreased substantially during summer and fall (11-16%). These changes in sedge use corresponded to seasonal variation in sedge availability. Our results confirm that bison are primarily grazers in prairie habitats, potentially having a significant role in shaping structure and function of tallgrass prairie.