Poster Title

Determining Elk Browse Patterns in Northwest Washington

Research Mentor(s)

John McLaughlin

Affiliated Department

Environmental Sciences

Sort Order

21

Start Date

18-5-2017 9:00 AM

End Date

18-5-2017 12:00 PM

Document Type

Event

Abstract

The Pacific Northwest is home to recovering elk populations, a species of importance to First Nations in the region as well as a contributor to ecosystem functions. While elk restoration in this region is important to some, elk are perceived as a nuisance to others due to impacts on agriculture and riparian restoration projects. Learning the herbivory patterns of elk in the area may inform work to support elk while reducing conflicts. I measured elk browse intensity and plant selection in the Nooksack River South Fork valley, Whatcom County, Washington. I recorded fraction of woody stems browsed by species in circular plots clustered around randomly located focal points. I calculated absolute browse intensity for each plant species, and determined selectivity using resource selection functions. These results can be applied in riparian restoration programs by selecting plants less preferred by elk and in agriculture by allocating deterrence measures where browse pressure is greatest.

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this documentation for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 18th, 9:00 AM May 18th, 12:00 PM

Determining Elk Browse Patterns in Northwest Washington

Environmental Sciences

The Pacific Northwest is home to recovering elk populations, a species of importance to First Nations in the region as well as a contributor to ecosystem functions. While elk restoration in this region is important to some, elk are perceived as a nuisance to others due to impacts on agriculture and riparian restoration projects. Learning the herbivory patterns of elk in the area may inform work to support elk while reducing conflicts. I measured elk browse intensity and plant selection in the Nooksack River South Fork valley, Whatcom County, Washington. I recorded fraction of woody stems browsed by species in circular plots clustered around randomly located focal points. I calculated absolute browse intensity for each plant species, and determined selectivity using resource selection functions. These results can be applied in riparian restoration programs by selecting plants less preferred by elk and in agriculture by allocating deterrence measures where browse pressure is greatest.