January 19 2011

12:00 LSB 2320

This seminar is sponsored by Dept of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

William Ripple
Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University

Linking Large Carnivores and Biodiversity in the Western North America


Following the extirpation of large predators in the American West, increased ungulate herbivory appears to have profound effects on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. I summarize the 20th century effects in five western national parks. In these parks, the loss of large predators allowed large herbivores to heavily impact riparian plant communities, thus leading to a loss of biodiversity. Only in Yellowstone National Park, where wolves (Canis lupus) have been reintroduced, it appears that impacts to plant communities are being reversed. The reintroduction of wolves in other areas of the west could initiate trophic cascades and ecosystem restoration.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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