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Abstract Detail


Gorchov, David [1].

Invasive plants versus overabundant white-tailed deer: which has more prevalent negative effects in eastern U.S. forests, and how do they interact? – a review of factorial experiments.

White-tailed deer are very abundant in many forests of eastern North America, and negative effects of high deer populations on forest plants are well documented. Many of these forests have been invaded by non-native plants, and these also often have negative effects. Where both stressors are present, which is more problematic, and are the effects synergistic? I reviewed the published literature of field experiments that tested deer vs. invasive plant effects, primarily in factorial designs. Among all the response variables of these studies, more (31%) were negatively impacted by deer than by invasive plants (23%). Deer * invasive plant interactions were significant for only 17% of the response variables. Most of these interactions were sub-additive: the presence of deer or invasive plants suppressed the response as much as the presence of both. From the perspective of management interventions, this pattern is synergistic: reducing both deer and invasive plants is needed to elevate the response variable. The literature also reveals that overabundant deer have cumulative effects on plants, resulting in legacy effects that impede recovery. More research is needed to assess whether invasive plants have comparable legacy effects. Considering these findings, and the finding that invasive removal while deer are still abundant sometimes worsens impacts on native plants. Management of invasive plants must be integrated with management of deer. Where resources preclude integrated management, deer management should, in general, be prioritized over invasive plant management.

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1 - Miami University, Department Of Biology, Pearson Hall, Oxford, OH, 45056, United States

invasive plants
white-tailed deer
literature survey
plant-animal interactions
deciduous forest.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: ECO2, Ecology: Invasion Biology
Location: /
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 2:00 PM(EDT)
Number: ECO2007
Abstract ID:201
Candidate for Awards:None

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