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Ungulate browsers promote herbaceous layer diversity in logged temperate forests

Overview of attention for article published in Ecology and Evolution, June 2016
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Title
Ungulate browsers promote herbaceous layer diversity in logged temperate forests
Published in
Ecology and Evolution, June 2016
DOI 10.1002/ece3.2223
Pubmed ID
Authors

Faison, Edward K., DeStefano, Stephen, Foster, David R., Motzkin, Glenn, Rapp, Joshua M.

Abstract

Ungulates are leading drivers of plant communities worldwide, with impacts linked to animal density, disturbance and vegetation structure, and site productivity. Many ecosystems have more than one ungulate species; however, few studies have specifically examined the combined effects of two or more species on plant communities. We examined the extent to which two ungulate browsers (moose [Alces americanus]) and white-tailed deer [Odocoileus virginianus]) have additive (compounding) or compensatory (opposing) effects on herbaceous layer composition and diversity, 5-6 years after timber harvest in Massachusetts, USA. We established three combinations of ungulates using two types of fenced exclosures - none (full exclosure), deer (partial exclosure), and deer + moose (control) in six replicated blocks. Species composition diverged among browser treatments, and changes were generally additive. Plant assemblages characteristic of closed canopy forests were less abundant and assemblages characteristic of open/disturbed habitats were more abundant in deer + moose plots compared with ungulate excluded areas. Browsing by deer + moose resulted in greater herbaceous species richness at the plot scale (169 m(2)) and greater woody species richness at the subplot scale (1 m(2)) than ungulate exclusion and deer alone. Browsing by deer + moose resulted in strong changes to the composition, structure, and diversity of forest herbaceous layers, relative to areas free of ungulates and areas browed by white-tailed deer alone. Our results provide evidence that moderate browsing in forest openings can promote both herbaceous and woody plant diversity. These results are consistent with the classic grazing-species richness curve, but have rarely been documented in forests.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 68 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Spain 2 3%
France 1 1%
India 1 1%
Sweden 1 1%
Canada 1 1%
Unknown 62 91%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 22 32%
Researcher 12 18%
Student > Bachelor 11 16%
Unspecified 8 12%
Student > Ph. D. Student 8 12%
Other 7 10%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 31 46%
Environmental Science 18 26%
Unspecified 15 22%
Nursing and Health Professions 1 1%
Computer Science 1 1%
Other 2 3%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 23 June 2016.
All research outputs
#6,017,793
of 7,936,934 outputs
Outputs from Ecology and Evolution
#1,693
of 2,003 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#183,703
of 262,308 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Ecology and Evolution
#114
of 145 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 7,936,934 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 13th percentile – i.e., 13% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,003 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 7.4. This one is in the 6th percentile – i.e., 6% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 262,308 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one is in the 16th percentile – i.e., 16% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.
We're also able to compare this research output to 145 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 6th percentile – i.e., 6% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.