Jeffrey Peters (Committee Member), Thomas Rooney (Advisor), John Stireman Iii (Committee Member)
Master of Science (MS)
White-tailed deer are a species of great economic and ecological concern. Foresters sometimes leave logging debris known as slash on the forest floor with the intent to protect seedlings from deer herbivory and promote forest regeneration. I examined the effects of slash on rates of deer browsing on sugar maple seedlings in a forest of northern Wisconsin and measured deer foraging behavior using giving-up density and vigilance rates by employing trail cameras. Rates of browsed stems were almost twice as high in the open as within and adjacent to slash. These findings underscore the usefulness of slash for mitigating the effects of deer on tree seedlings.Deer vigilance did not vary by night and day but photos were rarely taken during dawn and dusk. These results may suggest that rather than using reactive vigilance behavior, deer are using proactive antipredator behavior and avoiding the study site at high-risk times.
Department or Program
Department of Biological Sciences
Year Degree Awarded
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