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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Leng, Danielle [1], Mallotides, Nicole [1], Morrison, Janet A. [2].

Effects of invasive species and overabundant white-tailed deer on native tree seedlings in metropolitan forests .

Temperate, deciduous, metropolitan forests are essential ecosystems for natural biodiversity and ecosystem services, and they also serve as a way for dense urban-suburban human populations to connect with nature. These forests face a double threat: overabundant white-tailed deer and invasion by multiple non-native plant species. We examined native tree seedling abundance and related it to the level of deer pressure in forests that have high but differing deer pressure. Surprisingly, we found that in the forest with greatest chronic deer pressure (Rosedale) there was significantly higher mean percent cover of native tree seedlings, which we measured in forty 16 m2 plots per forest. Also, Rosedale had the lowest current deer pressure, which we quantified with browse signs on native woody plants below 1.4 m. The shrub layer is almost nonexistent in Rosedale, offering little food or shelter to deer, so they may tend to avoid it currently, allowing tree seedling cover to increase. Rosedale also has little cover even of non-native shrubs, which if are deer-resistant, can offer protection to tree seedlings that could possibly overcome their competitive effect; thus we also are investigating the possibility that invasive Rosa multiflora may protect seedlings of the native tree Liriodendron tulipifera.  

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1 - The College of New Jersey, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 7718, Ewing, NJ, 08628, United States
2 - The College Of New Jersey, Department Of Biology, P.O. Box 7718, Ewing, NJ, 08628, USA

tree seedlings
invasive plants
White-tailed Deer
urban ecology

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC006
Abstract ID:788
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Undergraduate Presentation Award

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