Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology
Emeritus Associate Professor
Areas of Interest
Ecology and management of mammalian herbivores: impacts of herbivores on natural plant communities.
My primary focus is the long-term effect of wild ungulates upon natural plant communities. At Isle Royale National Park we are tracking production of available forage and amounts of woody plants being used by moose and snowshoe hares. These data, plus an exclosure study, underlie analyses of how herbivores can shape the structure and species composition of forests. Elsewhere, we are analyzing the impact of white-tailed deer on native forest herbs in southeastern Minnesota.
My second research priority addresses ecological and physiological aspects of acquisition and conservation of sodium, an essential mineral, by mammalian herbivores in regions where it is very low in natural forage. These studies include field and lab experiments in Sweden. In addition, we assist forest managers in accommodating the habitat needs of moose with silvicultural practices, using geographic information systems and habitat-suitability models. A student has surveyed ecological and economic impacts of the Barbary macaque, an endangered primate, upon cedar forests in Morocco. We are comparing two methods for censusing moose, and have developed techniques for controlling excessive deer numbers in urban settings. We are also participating in efforts to restore woodland caribou to Minnesota.
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