Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Dr. David Foster

Abstract

It has been hypothesized that nonnative shrub removal may increase browsing on natives, due to increased visual apparency to the white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus. This is the first study to test this hypothesis directly. A deciduous forest in Grantham, PA was divided into 10m x 10m plots. The plots were randomly selected for either nonnative shrub removal or a control treatment. Nine long-stemmed tulips were planted in each plot, and chicken wire exclosures provided a control against herbivory in one tulip per plot. Chi-square analysis revealed that nonnative shrub removal and browsing are independent at high deer densities (>65 deer/mi2). Nonnative shrubs were persistent, requiring multiple attempts at removal. Further work is needed to determine if this trend remains at lower deer densities.

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