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This Figure Set explores the complexity of forest ecosystems with particular emphasis on the effects of expanding white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations on trees, birds, and people. Once at the brink of extinction throughout their range, deer populations in the eastern and midwestern United States have grown rapidly over the last several decades. This has created unwelcome consequences for farmers, orchardists, homeowners, and motorists, including crop damage and more vehicle accidents. Of concern to conservation biologists is the possibility that high deer densities might have detrimental effects on the abundance and diversity of forest vegetation and wildlife. This issue addresses the questions: 1) How do deer impact the composition of forest vegetation? 2) How do deer influence habitat for other wildlife? and 3) What challenges exist in the management of white-tailed deer populations? The issue draws upon three primary papers, which examine: 1) deer browse and other factors influencing hemlock regeneration, 2) effects of manipulating deer populations on the abundance and diversity of breeding birds, and 3) decision-making processes for resolving deer management controversies.
Associated files
Resource Group TIEE
Resource Group Link
Primary or BEN resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords TIEE, pedagogy, student active, inquiry based, management, wildlife, decision-making
Key taxa White-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus, Eastern Hemlock, Suga canadensis
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description This Figure Set suggests student-active teaching approaches to be used in combination with figure interpretation, such as turn-to-your-neighbor, pairs share, and citizen's argument. Students should gain understanding of some of the issues surrounding the ecological impacts of high deer densities and the decision-making processes for deer management.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Tania Schusler
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, Cornell University
Primary Author email
Added By Id
  • riemjg
Rights Copyright 2004 by Tania M. Schusler and the Ecological Society of America.
Review type
Drought and Water Ecosystem Services Collection Off
Conservation Targets Under Global Change Collection Off
Big Data Collection Off
Editors Choice No
Resource Status
Date Of Record Submission 2007-12-26
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use No
Date Of Record Release 2010-02-16 01:06:35
Last Modified By Id
  • educationintern
Date Last Modified 2018-07-23 13:50:13
Release Flag Published

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