Article

Bewertung der Naturnähe des Rothirschmanagements in mitteleuropäischen Nationalparken

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Title of the paper: Assessment of the naturalness of the red deer management in Central European national parks. National parks, as a category for protected areas, are a relatively recent creation. With the exception of the Swiss National Park (1914), all other European national parks were established after 1970. According to proclaimed goals, natural processes in the national parks are to be allowed to develop free of human interference. The methods by which these aims are to be achieved in respect to the management of large wild animals are a subject of much controversy: hunting traditions and forestry practices play important roles and generally accepted management standards are nonexistent. In view of these facts, we undertook this project to develop a set of criteria that can be used to assess methods for the management of red reer in regard to their approximation of natural conditions and that are suited to evaluate the quality of protected areas. Near natural areas are defined as areas in which the animals are not fed, hunting is not allowed, and populations are regulated by natural processes. In order to assess the current situation in the central European national parks, questionnaires were sent to 20 national park administrations in countries that have red deer populations. A total of 16 national parks took part in the study (table 1). Questions focused on features of the protected area, the red deer population characteristics, types of management measures, and related general conditions. Red deer managemanagement practices (table 4) in the individual protected areas were then evaluated with the aid of criteria that had been developed for determining the degree to which they emulate natural conditions (table 2). As indicated by the results, red deer are managed to a great or very great degree in most of the protected areas (figure 2). This is not in accordance with the proclaimed goals of national parks. With the exception of the Swiss National Park, red deer Populations are strongly manipulated in all of the other protected areas that participated in this study, especially in regard to population development (regulatory culling, feeding), spatial-temporal behaviour (stress due to hunting and recreational activities), and genetics (selection as an effect of hunting). In contrast, mechanisms of natural regulation, such as those caused by the presence of large predators, have only been of subordinate significance.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Die Frage wird sowohl im Austausch der NLPVs wie auch anderer interessierter Akteure kontrovers diskutiert (PFANNENSTIEL und STUBBE 2012). Neuere Untersuchungen zum Schalenwildmanagement zeigen, dass es derzeit keinen NLP in Deutschland gibt, der komplett auf Schalenwildmanagement verzichtet (EUROPARC DEUTSCHLAND 2011, PFANNENSTIEL und STUBBE 2012, GÜNTHER und HEURICH 2013, SCHERFOSE 2014. In den meisten NLPs findet man eine hohe bis sehr hohe Intensität des Schalenwildmanagements (GÜNTHER und HEURICH 2013 c) NLPs, in denen der Entwicklung von Schalenwildbeständen und der Entwicklung bestimmter Formen der Waldvegetation grundsätzlich der gleiche Stellenwert zukommt. ...
... Neuere Untersuchungen zum Schalenwildmanagement zeigen, dass es derzeit keinen NLP in Deutschland gibt, der komplett auf Schalenwildmanagement verzichtet (EUROPARC DEUTSCHLAND 2011, PFANNENSTIEL und STUBBE 2012, GÜNTHER und HEURICH 2013, SCHERFOSE 2014. In den meisten NLPs findet man eine hohe bis sehr hohe Intensität des Schalenwildmanagements (GÜNTHER und HEURICH 2013 c) NLPs, in denen der Entwicklung von Schalenwildbeständen und der Entwicklung bestimmter Formen der Waldvegetation grundsätzlich der gleiche Stellenwert zukommt. Eine Regulation wird fakultativ durchgeführt. ...
... Die jagdliche Beeinflussung erfolgt somit meist obligatorisch und jährlich. So soll explizit das Einwirken von Pflanzenfressern auf die Vegetation beeinflusst werden (GÜNTHER und HEURICH 2013). Schalenwildpopulationen werden somit von den deutschen NLPVs gemeinhin als zu hoch und damit negativ für das Erreichen des Schutzziels eingestuft, positive Wirkungen werden nur vereinzelt gesehen (PFANNENSTIEL und STUBBE 2012). ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Also downloadable at: http://www.bfn.de/fileadmin/BfN/service/Dokumente/skripten/Skript434.pdf
Article
Full-text available
The landscape of Central Europe has been shaped by humans for centuries. One of the less affected areas is the Bohemian Forest, located along the border of Germany (Bavaria), Austria, and Czechia. The Bohemian Forest ecosystem is protected as national parks in Bavaria and Czechia. Bavarian Forest and Šumava National Parks (NPs) together form one of the largest protected forested areas in Central Europe. However, both NPs differ in management, history and geography. Therefore, wildlife management measures (winter enclosures, feeding, hunting, law) were compared to reveal differences and similarities and red and roe deer densities were analysed as well. They represent abundant species with impact on vegetation. These measures are important for further harmonization of management. It is concluded that differences and obstacles for harmonization stem from a different legislation in both NPs, which causes that some measures cannot be applied in Šumava National Park in same way as in Bavarian Forest National Park, and it also stems from different development of management and nature protection in both NPs. On the other hand, there can be joint projects which can coordinate management. For example, the returning wolf (Canis lupus) is a good opportunity to enlarge transboundary non-intervention area.
Article
Full-text available
Dendrochronological studies demonstrate a highly dynamic settlement system in prehistoric wetland sites in the northern Alpine forelands. In this article, we apply an agent-based simulation model of the human–environment system to better understand possible causes of these dynamics. Therefore, we formulate a generic quantitative model of land use and calorie supply in Neolithic wetland sites ca. 4300–3700 bc. Archaeological, geographical and palaeoenvironmental data together with information from an agronomic crop yield model (MONICA) are used in an agent-based simulation of Neolithic land use (WELASSIMO model). We fit the generic model to specific conditions at six archaeological sites and their surrounding environments, using local data. In our simulations, annual crop yields fluctuate markedly around a long term mean which starts to decrease after a few years of crop production. Crop plants supply 60–90% of the annual calorie demand. As sources of readily available non-crop calories are needed to compensate potential low crop yields, we argue that Corylus avellana (hazelnuts) were especially important to provide these extra calories; the simulated importance of non-crop calories is 10–40%. Records of human-induced fires are interpreted as being indicative of a strategy to generally open up the woodland canopy and promote the growth of light-demanding hazel. The extent of the different land use methods is quantified and visualized in tiles of 8 km2 around the six study sites. The specific vegetation cover, the importance of hunting and the number of livestock animals have a major effect on the total area required.
Book
Full-text available
In den letzten Jahrzehnten erfreute sich die Idee, Wildnis unter Schutz zu stellen, innerhalb des Naturschutzes einer immer größeren Beliebtheit. Im Zuge dieser Strömung entstand die Vision „Wildnisgebiete“ der Bundesregierung, die in der Nationalen Strategie zur biologischen Vielfalt (NBS) veröffentlicht wurde. Nach dieser sollen in Deutschland mindestens 2 % der terrestrischen Bundesfläche unter Prozessschutz gestellt werden. Die vorliegende Arbeit, die im Zuge des Forschungsvorhabens „Umsetzung des 2 %-Ziels für Wildnisgebiete aus der Nationalen Biodiversitätsstrategie“ entstanden ist, widmet sich auf Basis einer umfassenden Literaturrecherche der Erarbeitung einer Umsetzungsstrategie für diese Vision. Hierfür musste das Vorhaben zuerst in einen gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhang eingeordnet werden. Außerdem galt es, für diese Thematik relevante naturschutzfachliche Überlegungen zu erörtern. Darauf aufbauend wurde eine Definition für „Wildnisgebiete“ im Sinne der gleichnamigen NBS-Vision gefunden, ein Konzept für die Abstimmung eines Schutzgebietsnetzwerkes entwickelt und ein Richtlinienkatalog für das Schutzgebietsmanagement empfohlen unter dem das prioritäre Ziel von Wildnis in Deutschland - nämlich der Biodiversitätsschutz - am effektivsten erreicht werden kann.
Article
Full-text available
Because most large, terrestrial mammalian predators have already been lost from more than 95-99% of the contiguous United States and Mexico, many ecological communities are either missing dominant selective forces or have new ones dependent upon humans. Such large-scale manipulations of a key element of most ecosystems offer unique opportunities to investigate how the loss of large carnivores affects communities, including the extent, if any, of interactions at different trophic levels. Here, we demonstrate a cascade of ecological events that were triggered by the local extinction of grizzly bears ( Ursus arctos) and wolves (Canis lupus) from the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. These include (1) the demographic eruption of a large, semi-obligate, riparian-dependent herbi- vore, the moose (Alces alces), during the past 150 yr; (2) the subsequent alteration of riparian vegetation structure and density by ungulate herbivory; and (3) the coincident reduction of avian neotropical migrants in the impacted willow communities. We contrasted three sites matched hydrologically and ecologically in Grand Teton National Park, Wyo- ming, USA, where grizzly bears and wolves had been eliminated 60-75 yr ago and moose densities were about five times higher, with those on national forest lands outside the park, where predation by the two large carnivores has been replaced by human hunting and moose densities were lower. Avian species richness and nesting density varied inversely with moose abundance, and two riparian specialists, Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis) and MacGillivray's Warblers ( Oporornis tolmiei), were absent from Park riparian systems where moose densities were high. Our findings not only offer empirical support for the top-down effect of large carnivores in terrestrial communities, but also provide a scientific rationale for restoration options to conserve biological diversity. To predict future impacts, whether overt or subtle, of past management, and to restore biodiversity, more must be known about ecological interactions, including the role of large carnivores. Restoration options with respect to the system that we studied in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are simple: (1) do nothing and accept the erosion of biological diversity, (2) replace natural carnivores with human predation, or (3) allow continued dispersal of grizzly bears and wolves into previously occupied, but now vacant, habitat. Although additional science is required to further our understanding of this and other terrestrial systems, a larger con- servation challenge remains: to develop public support for ecologically rational conser- vation options.
Article
Full-text available
The effect of Alces alces browsing on the nutrient cycles of boreal forests was studied on Isle Royale, Michigan. Soil nutrient availability and microbial activity, including exchangeable cations, total C and N, N mineralization rates, and microbial respiration rates, were uniformly higher in exclosures than outside. These differences were more significant where browsing intensity was high. N mineralization in browsed plots declined with increasing moose consumption rates. Net primary production in exclosures and browsed plots was strongly correlated with N mineralization. N mineralization in turn was positively correlated with litter N return and negatively correlated with litter cellulose content. These differences in litter quantity and quality were caused by an increased abundance of unbrowsed spruce outside the exclosures. Moose pellets alone mineralized less N but more C than soil alone, but pellets combined with soil stimulated N and C mineralization more than the sum of the two separately. However, this did not appear to be sufficient to offset the depression in N and C mineralization in soil resulting from the increased abundance of unbrowsed spruce. In the long term, high rates of moose browsing depress N mineralization and net primary production through the indirect effects on recruitment into the tree stratum, and subsequent depression of litter N return and litter quality. The effects of herbivores on ecosystems may be amplified by positive feedbacks between plant litter and soil nutrient availability. -from Authors
Article
Full-text available
Protected areas rate among the most popular nature conservation measures according to general public opinion in Germany. However, people living close to these sites do not always share this positive view. In fact, the implementation of such measures often leads to conflicts between the local resident population and management staff, which in many cases emanate from the failure to actively involve locals in the decision processes. Communication and participation are now acknowledged as crucial for the acceptance of nature conservation measures and are applied more and more in practice, but these factors do not guarantee the successful cooperation between the protected areas' administration units and their inhabitants. Past experiences and events may have planted mistrust and antipathies now thoroughly embedded in the collective memory, and thus hinder successful results in future decision-making processes. By means of discourse analysis, we examined a bottom-up process initiated in the Bavarian Forest National Park (southern Germany) concerning the future management of its red deer population. This exemplary study reveals the pivotal role the media plays in presenting the public discourse on nature conservation issues in general, and which discursive elements may have led to the final failure of the project in the case study presented.
Data
Full-text available
Mammalian predator-prey systems are behaviorally sophisticated games of stealth and fear. But, traditional mass-action models of predator prey dynamics treat individuals as behaviorally unresponsive "molecules" in Brownian motion. Foraging theory should provide the conceptual framework to envision the interaction. But, current models of predator feeding behavior generally envision a clever predator consuming large numbers of sessile and behaviorally inert prey (e.g., kangaroo rats, Dipodomys, collecting seeds from food patches). Here, we extend foraging theory to consider a predator-prey game of stealth and fear and then embed this game into the modeling of predator-prey population dynamics. The melding of the prey and predator's optimal behaviors with their population and community-level consequences constitutes the ecology of fear. The ecology of fear identifies the endpoints of a continuum of N-driven (population size) versus μ-driven (fear) systems. In N-driven systems, the major direct dynamical feedback involves predators killing prey, whereas μ-driven systems involve the indirect effects from changes in fear levels and prey catchability. In μ-driven systems, prey respond to predators by becoming more vigilant or by moving away from suspected predators. In this way, a predator (e.g., mountain lion, Puma concolor) depletes a food patch (e.g., local herd of mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus) by frightening prey rather than by actually killing prey. Behavior buffers the system: a reduction in predator numbers should rapidly engender less vigilant and more catchable prey. The ecology of fear explains why big fierce carnivores should be and can be rare. In carnivore systems, ignore the behavioral game at one's peril.
Article
Full-text available
Foraging patterns, behaviour and the distribution of animals are affected by the availability and distribution of food in the landscape. Increasing numbers of ungulates may also be in conflict with agriculture, timber, infrastructure and conservation interests. Understanding foraging habits of ungulates and how these are affected by a change in forage availability or composition are, therefore, issues of major importance both from ecological and management perspectives. Supplementary feeding (i.e. artificial supply of food) is being used to improve local habitat, and thereby affecting ungulate movements, habitat choice and migration patterns. We experimentally tested the predictions that supplementary feeding redistributes moose Alces alces during two different migration phases (early, i.e. during the onset of migration and late, i.e. in the wintering areas). We used individually marked moose and pellet group counts to investigate the effect of supplementary feeding both at the individual and population level. We monitored 30 moose with GPS-collars before, during and after the supplementary feeding experiment, corresponding to 8-10% of the moose population in two different valleys in Northern Scandinavia. During early migration, moose ignored supplementary feeding sites even though migration routes were close to the sites. At the end of the migration route, supplementary feeding affected moose movement, distribution and behaviour. In conclusion, we suggest that there is a clear difference in response to supplementary feeding by moose due to the phase of migration. We conclude that supplementary feeding can be used under certain conditions to redistribute moose in relation to browsing, or to traffic, preferably at the endpoint of migration.
Article
Full-text available
M. 2007: Selectivity of Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx and recrea-tional hunters for age, sex and condition in roe deer Capreolus capreolus. -Wildl. Biol. 13: 467-474. Data on the age, sex and condition of roe deer Capreolus capreolus killed by Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx and human hunters were collected in two study areas in the counties of Nord-Trøndelag and Hedmark in central and southeastern Norway, respectively. Data on the age and sex structure of the standing population were also collected. No differences in the age or sex structure of roe deer killed by lynx were found between the two study areas or between years with differing snow depths which was ex-pected to affect age-class vulnerability. The profile of 151 lynx-killed roe deer (24% adult males, 44% adult females, 11% male fawns and 21% female fawns) was not statistically different from that of the standing population. In contrast, hunters killed a significantly larger proportion of adult animals, especially males (44% adult males, 28% adult females, 15% male fawns and 13% female fawns). The detailed age structure of lynx killed and hunter killed animals was not different within the adult age class. The body condition of roe deer declined during late winter (more so for males than for females), however, there was no difference in the con-dition of roe deer killed by lynx or hunters during early winter (the hunt-ing season ends on 24 December). The overall picture is typical of a stalk-ing predator that has few options to select individuals based on condition, age or sex in a prey species with no sexual dimorphism and which is relatively small in relation to the size of the predator (lynx are 50-70% the size of an adult roe deer). Human hunters, on the other hand, are clearly harvesting a non-random section of the population. The result is that hunting does not replicate natural predation, although lynx preda-tion is likely to have a higher per capita impact on roe deer growth rates.
Article
Full-text available
Prey class selection and kill rates by lynx Lynx lynx were studied in the Swiss Jura Mountains from March 1988 until May 1998 to evaluate the significance of lynx predation for roe deer Capreolus capreolus and chamois Rupicapra rupicapra. We found clear differences in the kill rates and prey class selection between lynx of different age, sex and breeding status. Male lynx killed more chamois than female lynx, and chamois was never found in kill series of subadult lynx. Family groups had the highest kill rate. They killed an ungulate every 5.0 days, compared to an average of 6.2-6.6 days for single lynx. During our 10-year study, the density of independent lynx was rather stable, ranging within 0.94-1.01 individuals/100 km2. Based on the observed kill rates and the estimated lynx population structure we calculated that lynx killed 354 ± 13 roe deer and 87 ± 13 chamois annually in the 710 km2 study area. The magnitude of lynx predation on roe deer and chamois was primarily shaped by the lynx population structure. A decline in the number of resident male lynx reduced the number of chamois killed in the study area by 1/4 of the previous number due to the difference in prey selection of male and female lynx. There was a difference in the most frequently killed age and sex classes between roe deer and chamois: lynx killed more male chamois (39%) than females or fawns, whereas in roe deer, does (38%) were most often killed. By altering adult survival, lynx predation has a significant impact on prey population dynamics. Lynx killed a maximum of 9% of the roe deer and 11% of the chamois spring population. Considering the differences in the recruitment potential of the two prey species, lynx has a greater impact on chamois than on roe deer.
Article
Full-text available
Ungulate populations exhibiting partial migration present a unique opportunity to explore the causes of the general phenomenon of migration. The European roe deer Capreolus capreolus is particularly suited for such studies due to a wide distribution range and a high level of ecological plasticity. In this study we undertook a comparative analysis of roe deer GPS location data from a representative set of European ecosystems available within the EURODEER collaborative project. We aimed at evaluating the ecological factors affecting migration tactic (i.e. occurrence) and pattern (i.e. timing, residence time, number of migratory trips). Migration occurrence varied between and within populations and depended on winter severity and topographic variability. Spring migrations were highly synchronous, while the timing of autumn migrations varied widely between regions, individuals and sexes. Overall, roe deer were faithful to their summer ranges, especially males. In the absence of extreme and predictable winter conditions, roe deer seemed to migrate opportunistically, in response to a tradeoff between the costs of residence in spatially separated ranges and the costs of migratory movements. Animals performed numerous trips between winter and summer ranges which depended on factors influencing the costs of movement such as between-range distance, slope and habitat openness. Our results support the idea that migration encompasses a behavioural continuum, with one-trip migration and residence as its end points, while commuting and multi-trip migration with short residence times in seasonal ranges are intermediate tactics. We believe that a full understanding of the variation in tactics of temporal separation in habitat use will provide important insights on migration and the factors that influence its prevalence.
Article
Full-text available
Partial migration is common in ungulates living in highly seasonal environments. Typically, at higher latitudes, this involves movement between high elevation summer areas used during breeding and lowland areas with less snow used during winter. Snow depth is regarded the main cause of migration to low elevation, but it is less clear why deer migrate to high elevation in spring. The forage maturation hypothesis explains the upward migration due to plant phenology. We here present also an alternative and non-exclusive hypothesis, that deer migrate uphill in summer to escape competition due to the high density in winter areas (the competition avoidance hypothesis). We also suggest that social fences may play a role at high population density. Based on a unique study of 141 GPS-marked red deer from seven regions covering the main distribution in Norway, we found that the proportion of migrants in the populations varied from 38% to 100%. Migration was more common in areas with a diverse topography, i.e. for areas with access to high elevation. Further, we found evidence that migration was negatively density dependent, and that fall migration was delayed at high density. We suggest that a combination of avoidance of competition in high density winter ranges, social fencing during summer in addition to the forage maturation and predation risk avoidance hypotheses, is needed to explain migration patterns of northern ungulates.
Article
Full-text available
Herbivory, lighting regimes, and site conditions are among the most important determinants of forest regeneration success, but these are affected by a host of other factors such as weather, predation, human exploitation, pathogens, wind and fire. We draw together >50 years of research on the Huntington Wildlife Forest in the central Adirondack Mountains of New York to explore regeneration of northern hardwoods. A series of studies each of which focused on a single factor failed to identify the cause of regeneration failure. However, integration of these studies led to broader understanding of the process of forest stand development and identified at least three interacting factors: lighting regime, competing vegetation and selective browsing by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). The diverse 100–200 year-old hardwood stands present today probably reflect regeneration during periods of low deer density (<2.0 deer/km2) and significant forest disturbance. If this hypothesis is correct, forest managers can mimic these “natural windows of opportunity” through manipulation of a few sensitive variables in the system. Further, these manipulations can be conducted on a relatively small geographic scale. Control of deer densities on a scale of 500 ha and understory American beech (Fagus grandifolia) on a scale of <100 ha in conjunction with an even-aged regeneration system consistently resulted in successful establishment of desirable hardwood regeneration.
Article
Full-text available
The impact of ungulate herbivores on tree regeneration and its possible consequences for long-term forest dynamics has raised concerns worldwide. In many countries, ungulate management aims at constant animal densities, whereas unmanaged ungulate populations tend to fluctuate over time. The ecosystem consequences of constant vs. varying ungulate densities are largely unknown, and the exact density that is acceptable from a forestry point of view is highly uncertain as well.We used the gap model ForClim v2.9.5 to examine the effects of three browsing-related phenomena: (a) temporal changes in animal densities and thus oscillations in browsing intensity; (b) changes in the importance of browsing as a limiting factor relative to other limitations for ingrowth; and (c) growth suppression by browsing and hence different ingrowth rates for slow- vs. fast-growing trees. Results showed that ungulate herbivory can induce profound compositional and structural changes in forest stands: (a) oscillations in the browsing intensity led to compositional shifts that were less severe than under the corresponding constant browsing intensity; (b) an increase in the importance of browsing relative to other environmental factors caused a decrease in the incidence of palatable species; and (c) growth suppression strongly affected the numbers and composition of small trees of all species.We conclude that browsing can cause a shift not only in the structure and composition of tree regeneration, but also of the upper canopy in the long term. Management can manipulate forest ecosystems through the control of animal densities, and our results suggest that alternative management strategies for ungulate populations may be worth considering so as to provide “windows of opportunity” for forest regeneration in time and/or space.
Article
Full-text available
"A growing number of studies quantify the impact of nonlethal human disturbance on the behavior and reproductive success of animals. Athough many are well designed and analytically sophisticated, most lack a theoretical framework for making predictions and for understanding why particular responses occur. Behavioral ecologists have recently begun to fill this theoretical vacuum by applying economic models of antipredator behavior to disturbance studies. In this emerging paradigm, predation and nonlethal disturbance stimuli create similar trade-offs between avoiding perceived risk and other fitness-enhancing activities, such as feeding, parental care, or mating. A vast literature supports the hypothesis that antipredator behavior has a cost to other activities, and that this trade-off is optimized when investment in antipredator behavior tracks short-term changes in predation risk. Prey have evolved antipredator responses to generalized threatening stimuli, such as loud noises and rapidly approaching objects. Thus, when encountering disturbance stimuli ranging from the dramatic, lowflying helicopter to the quiet wildlife photographer, animal responses are likely to follow the same economic principles used by prey encountering predators. Some authors have argued that, similar to predation risk, disturbance stimuli can indirectly affect fitness and population dynamics via the energetic and lost opportunity costs of risk avoidance. We elaborate on this argument by discussing why, from an evolutionary perspective, disturbance stimuli should be analogous to predation risk. We then consider disturbance effects on the behavior of individuals--vigilance, fleeing, habitat selection, mating displays, and parental investment--as well as indirect effects on populations and communities. A wider application of predation risk theory to disturbance studies should increase the generality of predictions and make mitigation more effective without over-regulating human activities."
Article
Full-text available
The impact of mammals on trees and forest crops is examined by reviewing the scientific literature. The degree of growth loss, stem deformation and the likelihood of death from browsing all increase with the severity of damage. The effect of the damage depends very much on the tree species, age and season. Many studies reveal that some compensatory growth occurs after browsing, but there is a serious lack of long-term data and more work that links the incidence of damage to ultimate yield loss is required. Browsing can also make trees more or less palatable and this could have a marked effect on the likelihood of recovery, but this subject requires further research for trees growing in British conditions. Bark stripping results in timber staining and decay but does not appear to cause serious growth loss. The amount of stem decay usually increases with wound size and tree vigour but a considerable amount of residual variation remains to be explained. The success of natural regeneration depends on both herbivore and seedling density. Changes in tree species composition reflect the palatability of seedlings as well as their ability to recover. Browsing by deer usually causes a decrease in shrub and herbaceous plant biomass in the ground vegetation and an increase in grasses, ferns and mosses.
Article
Full-text available
Herbivores of temperate and arctic zones are confronted during winter with harsh climatic conditions and nutritional shortness. It is still not fully understood how large ungulates cope with this twofold challenge. We found that red deer, similar to many other northern ungulates, show large seasonal fluctuations of metabolic rate, as indicated by heart rate, with a 60% reduction at the winter nadir compared with the summer peak. A previously unknown mechanism of energy conservation, i.e., nocturnal hypometabolism associated with peripheral cooling, contributed significantly to lower energy expenditure during winter. Predominantly during late winter night and early morning hours, subcutaneous temperature could decrease substantially. Importantly, during these episodes of peripheral cooling, heart rate was not maintained at a constant level, as to be expected from classical models of thermoregulation in the thermoneutral zone, but continuously decreased with subcutaneous temperature, both during locomotor activity and at rest. This indicates that the circadian minimum of basal metabolic rate and of the set-point of body temperature regulation varied and dropped to particularly low levels during late winter. Our results suggest, together with accumulating evidence from other species, that reducing endogenous heat production is not restricted to hibernators and daily heterotherms but is a common and well-regulated physiological response of endothermic organisms to energetically challenging situations. Whether the temperature of all tissues is affected, or the body shell only, may simply be a result of the duration and degree of hypometabolism and its interaction with body size-dependent heat loss.
Article
Full-text available
Elk (Cervus elaphus) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem alter patterns of aggregation, habitat selection, vigilance, and foraging in the presence of wolves (Canis lupus). Antipredator behaviors like these can reduce predation risk but are also likely to carry costs. Data from five elk populations studied for 16 site years showed that progesterone concentrations (from 1489 fecal samples) declined with the ratio of elk to wolves. In turn, progesterone concentrations were a good predictor of calf recruitment in the subsequent year. Together, these data suggest that wolves indirectly affect the reproductive physiology and the demography of elk through the costs of antipredator behavior.
Article
Full-text available
Human harvest of animals in the wild occurs in terrestrial and aquatic habitats throughout the world and is often intense. Harvest has the potential to cause three types of genetic change: alteration of population subdivision, loss of genetic variation, and selective genetic changes. To sustain the productivity of harvested populations, it is crucial to incorporate genetic considerations into management. Nevertheless, it is not necessary to disentangle genetic and environmental causes of phenotypic changes to develop management plans for individual species. We recommend recognizing that some genetic change due to harvest is inevitable. Management plans should be developed by applying basic genetic principles combined with molecular genetic monitoring to minimize harmful genetic change.
Article
This paper presents a proposal of four variants of quantifiers for the numerical expression of qualitative attributes of forest ecosystems, for example site, naturalness, biodiversity, ecological stability, threat of injurious agents, status of forest biotopes of European significance in the NATURA 2000 network and so on. Quantifiers enable to completely characterise the whole set of these qualitative attributes of the ecosystem by one number which directly indicates the relative approximation of the ecosystem (in %) to the required most favourable status. They have more advantages: different numerical operations can be done with them, it is possible to aggregate evaluated units of the ecosystem to larger entities, to determine average value, variability and confidence limits of the final evaluation and to compare resulting statuses mutually or very objectively on the principle of biometric monitoring in a longer time. The construction of quantifiers is opened and it arbitrarily enables to choose input parameters at need (numerical quantifications of ecosystem quality statuses and weights of their criteria and indicators) and to search for optimal solutions. The reaction of quantifiers to different input situations is analysed on model examples and suggestions for their introduction into practice are presented. Special PC software was elaborated for the automated calculation of quantifiers.
Article
The size of the winter home range of female roe deer Capreolus capreolus was studied in Sweden in it boreal area, Grimso, and in a boreo-nemoral area. Bogesund. The home range size of each roe deer was based on 48-72 radio- locations collected from late January to early March. The average size of the winter home range was similar in the two areas, i.e. about 60 ha. No significant differences were found between home range sizes based on minimum convex polygon and harmonic mean 95%. The mean size of core areas (harmonic mean 50%) differed significantly between study areas. Snow depth was identified as an important factor influencing the size of home ranges. In the boreal forest, snow cover lowered the availability of the main food for the roe deer, i.e. dwarf-shrubs, resulting in roe deer concentrating around artificial feeding sites.
Article
Flight distances in roe deer Capreolus capreolus and fallow deer Dama dama with respect to a human observer on foot were measured in four nature reserves in the Netherlands: two dune reserves in the western part (the Amsterdam Water Supply Dunes (AWD) and Kennemerduinen (KD)) and two forested areas in the eastern part of the country (Hoge Veluwe (HV) and Kootwijk (KO)). In the four areas there is a gradient in hunting pressure from almost none in the AWD, via an increase in KD, to KO and HV. Fallow deer occur in both of the dune reserves and are not hunted. Of all the factors studied, hunting regime and habitat structure were most strongly related to flight distance. Although the number of individuals per group and most weather conditions also showed some relation to flight distances, their influence was relatively unimportant compared to that of hunting regime and habitat structure. When walking down wind, deer (both roe and fallow deer) flee at longer distances (64.7 ± 5.8 m) than when walking upwind (41.7 ± 3.3 m) or in calm wind (44.2 ± 1.8 m). In the roe deer population of the AWD, flight distances were the shortest among all the studied areas. In both of the dune areas, the flight distances in dense vegetation structures were shorter than in open field. Fallow deer flight distances did not differ between the dune reserves AWD and KD.
Article
Winter severity generates marked fluctuations in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations in northeastern North America. Emergency feeding alleviates effects of the most severe winters in many areas of North America, but efficacy of the food provided to reduce deer mortality remains largely unknown. We assessed 3 feeds for their efficacy in inducing body mass recovery of white-tailed deer after a period of food deprivation. Feeds differed with respect to their composition and nutritional content: WOOD (pelleted grain mixed with wood sawdust), HUSK (pelleted grain mixed with agricultural fibers), and HAY (second-cut hay dominated by grasses). Over a 9-week period in winter, we reduced the amount of food given to 12 captive deer to induce a mean body mass reduction of 18%; 4 control deer were fed ad libitum throughout the study. During the following 5 weeks, we fed groups of 4 deer with 1 of the 3 experimental feeds. The 2 groups feeding on pelleted feeds recovered rapidly, regaining most of the lost mass. However, deer feeding on HAY regained only 4% of their 17% mass loss. Our results suggest that fiber characteristics of grasses that dominated the HAY ration cannot improve body reserves. Therefore, we suggest the use of pelleted feeds to achieve rapid recovery of body mass as part of an emergency feeding program.
Article
Ecosystem ecologists traditionally have focused their attention on direct interactions among species, particularly those interactions that control flows of energy and materials among trophic levels. Emerging evidence suggests that indirect interactions may be more important than direct ones in determining ecosystem patterns and processes. Here I review indirect effects of ungulates on nutrient cycling, net primary production, and disturbance regimes in terrestrial ecosystems. Ungulates influence the nitrogen (N) cycle by changing litter quality, thereby affecting conditions for N mineralization, and by adding readily available N to upper levels of the soil in urine and feces. As a result of these additions, natural heterogeneity in the spatial distribution of N within landscapes is amplified by ungulate selection of habitats and patches. The magnitude of returns of plant N to the soil in urine and feces is a function of animal body mass and characteristics of the diet, particularly N content and levels of tannin. Effects on N cycling can cascade throughout the ecosystem, and can stabilize or destabilize the composition of plant communities. Net primary production can increase or decline in response to ungulate grazing. The direction of this response depends on the intensity of grazing or browsing, the evolutionary history of the ecosystem, and the opportunity for regrowth. Opportunity for regrowth is determined by physiological and morphological characteristics of the plant as well as environmental conditions, particularly the extent and timing of moisture availability. Ungulates influence fire regimes by altering the quality and quantity of fuels available for combustion. In grasslands, ungulates often reduce the extent, frequency, and intensity of fires, while in shrublands and forests, their effects can increase the likelihood of crown fires, while reducing the likelihood of surface fires. I develop the case that the way that ungulates influence ecosystem process is contingent on historical context, in particular the long-term context provided by plant-animal coevolution and soil development and the short-term context created by climate and weather. I show that ungulates are important agents of change in ecosystems, acting to create spatial heterogeneity, modulate successional processes, and control the switching of ecosystems between alternative states.
Article
Bei zwei Rothirschen und drei Rehen wurden anhand kontinuierlicher Herzfrequenzaufzeichnungen die Reaktionen auf verschiedene anthropogene Störreize unter kontrollierten Bedingungen erfaßt. Folgende Störreize wurden gesetzt: Personenrundgänge, Pferderitte, Flugdrachen, Traktor, Feuer, Fütterung, Radiomusik, Hundegebell, Motorsägenlärm, Gewehrschüsse. Beim Rotwild konnten 118, beim Rehwild 114 Versuche analysiert werden. Zur Quantifizierung der Herzfrequenzreaktionen wurde ein Modell entwickelt, das sowohl die Intensität als auch die Dauer der Herzfrequenzreaktion berücksichtigt. Fast jeder Störreiz führte bei beiden Tierarten zu einer signifikanten Herzfrequenzänderung. Optische Störreize bewirkten generell eine intensivere Herzfrequenzänderung als akustische. Beim Rehwild zeigten sich sowohl individuelle, tageszeitliche als auch saisonale Unterschiede in den Reaktionen auf die Störreize, beim Rotwild konnten nur tageszeitliche Einflüsse festgestellt werden. Allgemein waren die Reaktionen der Rehe auf Störreize stärker ausgeprägt als beim Rotwild. Bei beiden Tierarten konnte keine ausgeprägte Gewöhnung an die gesetzten Störreize festgestellt werden.
Article
Participation has been widely discussed in the literature over the last decade. When it comes to protected area management, participation is mostly seen as an appropriate, if not even necessary, method for integrating the ecological as well as socio-economical dimensions of nature conservation and to achieve acceptance of management objectives. However, despite the apparent effort made by governmental agencies to expand the integration of affected stakeholders in decision making-processes in Germany, one cannot but recognise that these efforts repeatedly do not achieve the expected results. Affected stakeholders may refuse to take part in the participation process and conflicts may arise.This paper reveals possible explanations for this gap between expectations and outcomes by analysing a participation process in the Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany. The study uses a conflict-oriented approach, focusing on the actors involved, their perceptions, relations, and (inter)actions. The analysis shows that the actors’ behaviour may not be so much determined by their interests but rather by other factors such as communicational and relational structures. On this basis, the article discusses the adequacy of different participatory methods depending on the conflict situation at hand and identifies approaches for managing these.
Article
The return of the Eurasian Lynx to Central Europe has led to a number of conflicts. A primary subject of discussion involves its predation on other wildlife species. Here, we investigated the influence of lynx on its main prey, Roe Deer, in the Bavarian Forest National Park in south-eastern Germany. We compared the survival rates of deer before and after reintroduction of lynx. The analysis is based on data from 1984 to 1988 and 2005 to 2008 of 88 and 99 radio-collared Roe Deer, respectively. During the first period, 35 deer deaths were documented; during the second period, 41 deaths were documented. The causes of death in the second period were lynx 44%, road kill 15%, hunting 12%, and other causes 29%. We used the Cox model to determine the influence of covariables on the hazard rate, which made it possible to consider interactions between the variables. The resulting model includes the four main effects sex, age, presence of lynx, and severity of first winter, and the three interactions—presence of lynx:sex, age:severity of first winter, and sex:severity of first winter, which had a statistically significant influence on Roe Deer survival.
Article
The Bavarian Forest National Park is the oldest National Park in Germany. The overall management concept within the park is the protection of unaltered natural processes. The outbreak of a spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) infestation in 1993 has especially affected the subalpine range of the park with its high proportion of spruce trees. This paper describes a study on how forest regeneration was affected by the process of the large-scale die off of forest trees. For this purpose, surveys from a total of 572 samples from the years 1991, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2005 were available. Compared to 1991, when the regeneration density was 978 trees per hectare, it had increased to 4502 trees per hectare in 2005. The distribution of the regeneration has also changed. While in 1998, only 36.7% or the inventory plots were found to have a density of greater than 1000 plants per hectare, this value had increased to 62.4% by 2005. No regeneration was found in only 0.9% of the inventory plots. Regeneration consisted mostly of Norway spruce (89.0%) and mountain ash (7.9%). European beech (1.9%) and all other tree species (1.2%) were much less significant. In addition, the proportion of tree heights has clearly shifted to taller trees. This indicates a favourable development of the trees in the regeneration. The proportion of trees damaged by browsing ungulates was 1.6%. Browsing damage to mountain ash was relatively high at 33.6%. Other forms of damage were relatively insignificant.
Article
We compared selection of northern Yellowstone elk (Cervus elaphus) by hunters in the Gardiner Late Hunt and northern Yellowstone wolves (Canis lupus) with regard to sex, age, and impacts to recruitment. We compared harvest data from 1996–2001 with wolf-killed elk data from 1995–2001. We assessed the effects of hunting and wolf predation on reproductive female elk by constructing a life table and calculating reproductive values for females in the northern Yellowstone herd. We devised an index of total reproductive impact to measure impacts to calf production due to hunting and wolf predation. The age classes of female elk selected by wolves and hunters were significantly different. Hunters selected a large proportion of female elk with the greatest reproductive values, whereas wolves selected a large proportion of elk calves and older females with low reproductive values. The mean age of adult females killed by hunters throughout the study period was 6.5 years, whereas the mean age of adult females killed by wolves was 13.9 years. Hunting exerted a greater total reproductive impact on the herd than wolf predation. The combined effects of hunters killing prime-aged females (2–9 yr old), wolves killing calves, and predation by other predators has the potential to limit the elk population in the future. Yellowstone is unique in this regard because multiple predators that occur sympatrically, including hunters, wolves, grizzly bears (Ursus arctos), black bears (Ursus americanus), cougars (Felis concolor), and coyotes (Canis latrans), all prey on elk. Using an Adaptive Harvest Management process the known female elk harvest during the Gardiner Late Hunt has been reduced by 72% from 2,221 elk in 1997 to 620 elk in 2004. In the future, hunting harvest levels may be reduced further to partially offset elk losses to wolves, other predators, and environmental factors.
Article
In red deer, variation in winter and spring weather conditions encountered by the mothers during pregnancy and during the first year of life are a main determinant for individual life-history as well as population dynamics. We tested the hypothesis that supplementary feeding which provides constant food supply throughout winter removes the selective pressure of winter harshness on nutrition-mediated phenotypic traits. We analysed cohort variation in body weight in calves in October, before their first winter, and in yearlings in June, after their first winter, in a food-supplemented population in the Eastern Austrian Alps. Over eleven years, cohort body weight varied between years in calves and yearlings. Contrary to studies on non-supple- mented red deer populations we found neither short- nor long-term effects of winter weather on body weight. In calves, autumn body weight was negatively related to April-May and June temperatures, suggesting that cool weather during the main growth period retarded plant senescence and thereby prolonged the period of high protein content of summer forage. In yearlings, variation in June body weight, shortly after the end of the feeding period, was lower after a wet April-May, suggesting a negative effect of a prolonged period of supplemental feeding. For both calves and yearlings intra-cohort variation in body weight was higher, inter-cohort variation was lower as compared to non-supplemented red deer, suggesting that in their first year of life supplemented red deer are under reduced natural selection pressure.
Article
1. Supplementary winter feeding of game animals, and particularly deer, is a common practice throughout northern (continental) Europe and parts of North America. Feeding is normally associated with maintaining high densities of animals for hunting, in terms of: (i) maintaining or increasing body weights and condition overwinter; (ii) improving reproductive performance and fertility; (iii) increasing overwinter survival; and (iv) reducing levels of damage caused to agriculture and forestry or the natural heritage. We consider the balance of evidence on the effectiveness of winter feeding of red deer Cervus elaphus in achieving these objectives. Where that evidence is equivocal, we attempt to reconcile apparent contradictions to evaluate the circumstances under which winter feeding may or may not be effective. 2. In general, feeding of red deer on open range appears to have relatively little effect on body weights or fecundity. Effects on increasing antler size and quality are variable and seem to depend on the degree to which animals may be mineral limited on native range. Effects on survival are similarly ambiguous. It is apparent, however, that to be effective in reducing mortality, any supplementation is required early in the season and not simply when heavy mortalities are already being experienced. If provision of supplementary foods is delayed until animals are perceived already to be in poor condition, such feeding may have little effect. 3. One of the primary goals of winter feeding in both Europe and the USA has become the prevention of environmental damage, particularly damage to commercial and native forests, while maintaining deer populations at densities suitable for hunting. Again, empirical evidence for effectiveness in this regard is inconclusive, with some studies showing a decrease in damage caused, some showing no effect and others showing a significant increase in local impact. 4. There are equally a number of problems associated with the provision of supplementary feeds overwinter. Those animals which come to the feeding stations may develop a reliance on the food supplement provided, reducing intake of natural forages to near zero; where feed provided is less than 100% of daily requirement, such animals may regularly lose, rather than gain condition. Feed provision is also extremely uneven at such feeding stations; dominant stags displace younger stags and hinds from the feed provided until they have themselves finished feeding. Concentrations of high densities of animals around small feed-areas may also increase the risk of infection and lead to development of high parasite burdens. 5. In an attempt to assess the current status and distribution of supplementary winter feeding in Scotland, a questionnaire was circulated to a number of individual across the country. Results of this survey are summarized and conclusions presented on the likely effectiveness of current feeding practices in achieving their aims.
Article
The Bavarian Forest National Park is a part of the Greater Bohemian Forest Ecosystem, which is the largest strictly protected contiguous forest expanse in Central Europe. Therefore, the region is of exceptional importance for the protection of large wildlife species. The preservation of large faunal elements in a land-scape is not only decisive to assure the completeness of the respective biocenosis; it is necessary because of their function as vectors of important processes that significantly influence the development of forest ecosystems and ultimately contribute to increased biodiversity. In the article, the main goals for wildlife management in the National Park are described: (1) native species are to be preserved as wildlife and as agents of natural dynamic processes, (2) wild animal populations should not be affected by human activity, (3) wildlife visibility and experiences are to be promoted for the enjoyment of visitors to the National Park, (4) the natural species diversity of flora and fauna are to be preserved, (5) privately owned forests and pri-vate property that border the National Park must be protected from damages caused by wildlife. Also, wildlife management measures, such as population control, reduction of disturbances by guiding public access, reduction of winter feeding, damage prevention, coordination with the National Park's neighbours, and improvement of the acceptance for wildlife in areas surrounding the park are presented in general and specifically for the following species: red deer, roe deer, wild boar, lynx, and wolf. Finally, perspectives for the further development of wildlife management in the park are discussed.
Article
The use of habitats by wild animals is commonly assumed to be decreasing due to human activities, such as tourism or the installation and use of wind-energy plants. These anthropogenic interferences may subject animals to chronic stress. To be able to objectively characterise the effects on animal populations or on individual animals, the collection of data that might be suitable to monitor such chronic stress is required. In this study of hunted red deer, we report data that are related to adrenal activity and are not affected by the acute stress induced by hunting. Adrenal glands and samples from ileal digesta were collected from 75 hunted deer from seven different habitats in the German Rhineland. The adrenal glands were evaluated histomorphometrically; in the digesta, the concentration of cortisol metabolites, i.e. of 11,17-dioxoandrostanes (11,17-DOA), was measured. Digesta were also examined for parasites. Animals were grouped according to age, sex, habitat, and hunting method. Animals were infected with gastrointestinal helminths and lungworms; examination for liver flukes was negative. Significant differences were not established among the different groups for any of the recorded parameters. For sex, a tendency (P=0.11) towards higher DOA levels was observed in female deer when compared to male deer. The variability of the parameters together with the lack of identifiable influences of hunting indicates that chronic stress might indeed have been a relevant factor. However, none of the parameters analysed can presently be validly used to evaluate habitat quality for red deer since physiological stressors cannot be differentiated.
Article
From 1974 to 1995 more than 290 flight reactions of red deer were documented and analyzed. The following parameters were determined: The percentage of behaviors interrupted by flight (original behavior) (Tab. 1), the percent portion of behaviors directly following flight (subsequent behavior) (Tab. 2), the initial flight speed (Tab. 3), the comparison of the enemy recognition distance (FE) to the flight distance (FD) for the wind directions half, disturbing factor to animal and animal to disturbing factor (Tab. 4), the flight strategies (finding cover, increasing distance, gaining oversight) for the various wind directions (Tab. 5), the average values for the enemy recognition distance, flight distance, the minimum distance for the first observation, the least distance covered for the first observation, and the distance after which the red deer calmly move on (Tab. 6 and 7). The evaluation of results are according to the type of herd — all female, all male, or mixed. The observations are also differentiated according to day and night, habitat, behavior of people in the habitat, and the seasonal behavior of the red deer for the phases summer to late fall and winter to early summer. The results evidence the high priority of optical orientation in the recognition of enemies among red deer. The range for the disturbing factor man is 300 m where good cover is present and 500 m where this is lacking.
Article
The spatial grazing patterns of red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) in a subalpine grassland ecosystem of the Swiss National Park were analysed with reference to the phosphorus content in the topsoil and to the former agricultural management system. Changes in the composition of the vegetation and in plant species richness were studied on permanent plots set up between 1917 and 1945 in areas which today are heavily grazed by red deer, and were related to the development of the red deer population.The spatial grazing patterns of red deer are, 80 years after the Park’s foundation, still determined by former agricultural use. Red deer prefer the most phosphorus-rich, formerly irrigated parts for grazing.Grazing by red deer was found to be the driving force behind temporal changes in the vegetation observed on the subalpine grasslands. Plant succession has proceeded faster in the preferred grazing areas and the vegetation has adapted to the grazing pressure with a decrease in tall-growing plant species. At the same time, the abundance of unpalatable species has increased due to (i) morphological defences, (ii) spatial avoidance, i.e. by growing close to the ground and (iii) temporal avoidance because they have a short life-span (annuals). Changes in vegetation composition have coincided with a sharp increase in species richness. Between 1917 and 1999, the number of plant species has doubled on average. We found a highly significant correlation between the changes in the numbers of plant species and red deer, with species richness increasing with increasing deer density.
Article
Browsing by free-living ungulates is a serious threat to forest regeneration. Although predictors of browsing and potential consequences are well researched, less information is available in the scientific literature about possible solutions to the problem. We investigated whether a large-scale game management system in a traditional sport hunting culture has the potential to effectively reduce browsing damage. Our analysis was based on browsing survey data from 2006 and 2009 covering more than 25,000 km2 in Bavaria, Germany. After an initial assessment of browsing damage throughout Bavaria in 2006, game management plans were altered, and the effect of this intervention was assessed in 2009. Browsing damage clearly declined in 2009 in areas where the suggested deer harvests were increased in 2006 game management plans. This is the first report of a successful implementation of a large-scale game management system aiming at reducing browsing damage to facilitate unfenced forest regeneration.
Article
The mortality risk from hunting/predation should increase animals' vigilance and modify their selection of feeding sites. This risk may thus be costly if vigilance interferes with feeding and/or if animals select poorer but safer feeding sites. We observed the vigilance behaviour of roe deer, Capreolus capreolus, feeding in a fragmented landscape during and outside the hunting season and compared food availability and local landscape features at these feeding sites with random paired sites. Roe deer spent more time vigilant during the hunting season than outside it. During the hunting season, vigilance decreased as the woodland extent within an 800 m radius increased, but this was not the case outside the hunting season. Vigilance decreased with increasing distance to houses, both during and outside the hunting season. When food is abundant, interference with feeding may be low because animals can simultaneously process food (chewing) and be vigilant. During the hunting season, the total time spent vigilant while chewing increased with increasing food abundance to a lesser extent than outside the hunting season, suggesting a higher level of costly exclusive vigilance during the hunting season. Outside the hunting season animals selected feeding sites that provided more food, but during the hunting season, as risk (proximity to houses) was positively correlated with food availability, animals no longer selected feeding sites on the basis of food availability. Taken together, our results indicate that roe deer trade off risk avoidance for food availability in hunted populations.
Article
Extensive surveys of biodiversity in protected and managed areas have not been conducted for a majority of taxonomic groups and ecosystem types, which makes it difficult to assess how large a portion of biodiversity is at least potentially under protection. The situation is the same in boreal regions, and only preliminary analyses of the biodiversity patterns of less well-known organism groups, including many freshwater taxa, within the protected area network have been conducted. We studied patterns of species richness and community composition of algae, macrophytes (bryophytes and vascular plants), and macroinvertebrates of headwater streams draining protected areas and managed forests in a boreal drainage basin in Finland. We found no significant differences in the species richness and community composition of these organism groups between the protected and managed streams. Gamma- and beta-diversity varied strongly among the protected and managed stream groups, yet this variation was contingent on the organism group and the beta-diversity measure used. In general, there was much species turnover within both protected and managed stream groups, masking any between-group differences. However, we found a number of redlisted and rare species in our surveys. Of these species, several macrophyte species occurred more frequently in the protected streams. By contrast, rare species of algae and macrophytes did not generally show such inclinations to the protected streams. We found no strong congruence in species richness or community dissimilarity between algae, macrophytes, and macroinvertebrates, suggesting that the main anthropogenic gradient in terms of forestry is not strong enough to modify stream environmental conditions and thereby shape biodiversity in the focal drainage basin. This finding also suggests that surveys of aquatic biodiversity across protected and managed landscapes should not rely too heavily on the surrogate taxon approach, but instead should consider patterns shown by multiple taxonomic groups that represent biologically and ecologically disparate organisms. Our results indeed suggest that the levels of alpha-, beta-, and gamma-diversity show differing among-taxon responses to forest management and naturalness of headwater streams.
Article
Naturalness assessments are required for the evaluation of conservation schemes and programmes such as large-scale IUCN protected areas (National Parks) where nature restoration is a main management objective. More than 99% of the landscapes of Central Europe lost their reference sites for naturalness assessments with cutting of the last virgin forests. We present the Relative Quantitative Reference Approach for Naturalness Assessments (RANA), a method for overcoming the lack of virgin forests using a surrogate reference for forested landscapes. RANA combines heterogeneously scaled bio-important variables. We tested the RANA in the Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany, with an assumed naturalness gradient in different park zones. The results demonstrate that the RANA is a highly sensitive method for evaluating ecosystem responses to forest restoration and conservation.
Article
We studied young riparian cottonwoods (Populus spp.) and associated woody plants along Soda Butte Creek and the Lamar River in northeastern Yellowstone National Park (YNP) to examine the potential influence of wolf/elk interactions upon plant growth. After a period of approximately 70 years without wolves in YNP, they were reintroduced in the winter of 1995–1996. When we compared woody plant heights shown in photographs taken prior to 1998 with those shown in 2001–2002 photos, we found an increase in the height of riparian woody plants for six of the eight sites within the study area. Plants were tallest (1–4 m) at point bar, stream confluence, and island sites, while heights remained relatively low (<1 m) along straight river reaches in a wide valley setting. We measured differences in both browsing intensity and cottonwood height for sites with relatively high predation risk (low visibility and/or the presence of escape barriers) and compared them to nearby sites with relatively low predation risk (open areas). In general, the high-risk sites had lower browsing intensities (percent of stems browsed) and taller plants than low-risk sites. Although the young cottonwoods on high-risk sites were growing taller each year over the last 4 years, there was little change in the plant heights for low-risk sites. For a stand of young cottonwoods growing adjacent to a gully (potential escape barrier), we found a linear correlation (r2=0.76) between cottonwood height and adjacent gully depth; as gully depth increased, the percent of stems browsed decreased and cottonwood height increased. While the release of cottonwood and willows within the study area is in a very early stage, results provide rare empirical evidence illustrating the indirect effects of a top carnivore in a terrestrial food chain and supports theories on: (1) predation risk effects and (2) trophic cascades (top-down control). Wolf reintroductions into the Yellowstone environment may thus represent a management action that was needed to help insure the restoration of riparian species and preservation of biodiversity.
Article
The fossil record of vegetation and ungulates places present conditions and trends in a temporal perspective. Ungulate–vegetation interactions during the last 500 000 years were primarily driven by the climatic variation of the glacial–interglacial cycle. There were distinctive faunas associated with each temperate period and a loss of species diversity only in the present interglacial. Climate change and human activities have interacted during the most recent glacial cycle, accelerating extinction rates. This unique course of events has the consequence that no stable, ‘base-line’ conditions can be recognised. A review of the full-glacial ‘mammoth-steppe’ debate suggests that ungulate populations were limited by available forage, but a mosaic of habitat supported a diverse fauna in Beringia. In the debate over early–mid Holocene ‘wood pasture’, past ungulate populations are one of a range of disturbance factors, including burning, that influenced regional vegetation composition and structure in northern Europe. These debates concerning the scale and impacts of past ungulate–vegetation interactions will not be fully resolved until more is known about past ungulate population sizes. Modelling past scenarios would enhance the value of retrospective studies and help provide goals for management of near-natural ecosystems.
Article
We used comparative data to test functional hypotheses for 17 antipredator behaviour patterns in artiodactyls. We examined the literature for hypotheses about auditory and visual signals, defensive behaviour and group-related antipredator behaviour in this taxon and derived a series of predictions for each hypothesis. Next, we documented occurrences of these behaviour patterns and morphological, ecological and behavioural variables for 200 species and coded them in binary format. We then pitted presence of an antipredator behaviour against presence of an independent variable for cervids, bovids and all artiodactyls together using nonparametric tests. Finally, we reanalysed the data using Maddison's (1990, Evolution, 44, 539–557) concentrated-changes tests and a consensus molecular and taxonomic phylogeny. We found evidence that snorting is both a warning signal to conspecifics and a pursuit-deterrent signal, lack of evidence that whistling alerts conspecifics and indications that foot stamping is a visual signal to warn group members. Evidence suggested that tail flagging was a signal to both conspecifics and predators, that bounding, leaping and stotting were used both as a signal and to clear obstacles and that prancing functioned similarly to foot stamping. Analyses of tail flicking, zigzagging and tacking were equivocal. We confirmed that inspection occurs in large groups, freezing enhances crypticity, and species seeking refuge in cliffs tend to be small. Entering water and attacks on predators had few correlates. Finally, group living, a putative antipredator adaptation, was associated with large body size and species living in open habitats, confirming Jarman's (1974, Behaviour, 48, 215–267) classic hypothesis. Bunching and group attack apparently deter predators. Despite limitations, comparative and systematic analyses can bolster adaptive hypotheses and raise new functional explanations for antipredator behaviour patterns in general.
Article
Red Deer: Behavior and Ecology of Two Sexes is the most extensive study yet available of reproduction in wild vertebrate. The authors synthesize data collected over ten years on a population of individually recognizable red deer, usually regarded as conspecific with the American elk. Their results reveal the extent of sex differences in behavior, reproduction, and ecology and make a substantial contribution to our understanding of sexual selection.
Article
Whether ecosystems are structured from the top-down (i.e., predator driven) or bottom-up (i.e., food limited) has been debated by ecologists for nearly a century. Many marine and freshwater aquatic systems appear to be under top-down control, but less evidence exists that predators have had a similar effect in terrestrial systems, especially those systems involving large ungulates. Earlier research, however, omitted any serious discussion of Native Americans. Contrary to prevailing beliefs, Native Americans were not conservationists, and they had dramatic impacts on wildlife populations. Native Americans were the ultimate keystone predator and the ultimate keystone species through activities such as aboriginal burning. Moreover, the idea that North America was a 'wilderness' untouched by the hand of man prior to 1492 A.D. is incorrect, as recent population estimates indicate that native people may have numbered as many as 100 million, or more, before they were decimated by introduced diseases and other colonial processes. Until the importance of aboriginal land management is recognized and modern management practices change accordingly, our ecosystems will continue to lose the biological diversity and ecological integrity they once had, even in national parks and other protected areas.
Article
A method for measuring glucocorticoids noninvasively in feces of roe deer was established and validated. The enzyme immunoassay (EIA) measures 11,17-dioxoandrostanes (11,17-DOA), a group of cortisol metabolites. Such measurement avoids blood sampling and reflects a dampened pattern of diurnal glucocorticoid secretion, providing an integrated measure of adrenocortical activity. After high-performance liquid chromatography, the presence of at least three different immunoreactive 11,17-DOA in the feces of roe deer was demonstrated. The physiological relevance of these fecal cortisol metabolites to adrenocortical activity was evaluated with an adrenocorticotropic hormone challenge test: cortisol metabolite concentrations exceeded pretreatment levels (31-78 ng/g) up to 13-fold (183-944 ng/g) within 8-23 h. Starting from basal levels between 13 and 71 ng/g, a suppression of adrenocortical activity after dexamethasone administration, indicated by metabolite levels close to the detection limit, was obtained 36-81 h after treatment, whereas unmetabolized dexamethasone was detectable in feces 12 h after its injection. Fecal glucocorticoid metabolite assessment via EIA is therefore of use in the monitoring of adrenocortical activity in roe deer. In a second experiment, capture, veterinary treatment, and transportation of animals were used as experimental stresses. This resulted in a 7.5-fold increase of fecal metabolites (1200 +/- 880 ng/g, mean +/- SD) compared to baseline concentrations. The administration of a long-acting tranquilizer (LAT), designed to minimize the physiological stress response, 2 days prior to a similar stress event led to a reduced stress response, resulting in only a 4-fold increase of fecal metabolites (650 +/- 280 ng/g; mean +/- SD). Therefore, LATs should be further investigated for their effectiveness in reducing stress responses in zoo and wild animals, e.g., when translocations are necessary.
Article
1. We investigate the evolutionary responses to harvesting in ungulates using a state-dependent, stochastic, density-dependent individual-based model of red deer Cervus elaphus (L.) females subject to different harvesting regimes. 2. The population's mean weight at first reproduction shifts towards light weights as harvesting increases, and its distribution changes from a single peak distribution under very low or high harvest rates, to a bimodal distribution under intermediate harvest rates. 3. These results suggest that, consistent with previous studies on aquatic species, harvesting-induced mortality may drive adaptive responses in ungulates by reducing the fitness benefits from adult survival and growth in favour of early and lightweight reproduction. 4. Selective harvesting for heavy animals has no additional effect on the evolutionarily stable strategy, suggesting that harvest rate is more important than the degree of selectivity in driving adaptive responses. However, selective harvesting of light females is positively associated with maturation weights even higher than those of a nonharvested population, probably due to the reduction in the fitness value of the offspring. 5. The average number of weight at maturation strategies in the population declines but the total number of strategies across all simulations increases with harvest rate, suggesting that harvesting-induced selection on weight at maturity overcomes the increase in strategy diversity expected from density-dependent release. 6. Yield initially increases with harvesting due to enhanced productivity of light females experiencing density-dependent release. However, it crashes under intense harvesting resulting in a population skewed to light, young and, therefore, less reproductive animals.
Lebensraumnutzung des Rotwildes auf dem Truppenübungsplatz Vogelsang II: Eine erste Bilanz für einen Lebensraum im Nationalpark Eifel nach Abzug der Belgischen Streitkräfte
PETRAK, M. (2008): Lebensraumnutzung des Rotwildes auf dem Truppenübungsplatz Vogelsang II: Eine erste Bilanz für einen Lebensraum im Nationalpark Eifel nach Abzug der Belgischen Streitkräfte. DECHENIANA 161: 51–56.