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Scholars Day 2007, Wednesday, April 11

The Effects of White-tail Deer on a Forested Ecosystem

Effective deer management is crucial to maintaining a healthy forest ecosystem. High densities of white-tailed deer (Odocoloileus virginians) are considered to have a keystone effect on forest communities by significantly impacting forest regeneration, structure, and composition. Deer herbivory directly affects many herbaceous, shrub, and tree species and has been found to change an entire ecosystem as the impact cascades through higher trophic levels. Recently, a long-term study has been designed to quantify the direct impact of deer at a local level and to address the following questions: What is the current state of the understory community in the Brockport woods? How significant is the impact of white-tailed deer on the ecological dynamics of this site? Which species are most sensitive to ungulate pressure? And finally, are deer having a keystone effect in the local ecosystem?

Presenters: Mark Norris (Faculty)
Eric Somers (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Environmental Science
Location: 104 Edwards
Time: 11:15 am (Session II)