Effects of Disturbance and Landscape Position on Vegetation Structure and Productivity in Ontario Boreal Forests: Implications for Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) Forage

dc.contributor.advisorTuretsky, Merritt
dc.contributor.authorMallon, Erin E
dc.date.accessioned2014-05-12T16:11:15Z
dc.date.available2014-05-12T16:11:15Z
dc.date.copyright2014-05
dc.date.created2014-04-30
dc.date.issued2014-05-12
dc.degree.departmentDepartment of Integrative Biologyen_US
dc.degree.grantorUniversity of Guelphen_US
dc.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen_US
dc.degree.programmeIntegrative Biologyen_US
dc.description.abstractHypotheses explaining recent declines in the abundance of woodland caribou in boreal Ontario include increased disturbances and predation. Caribou may select peatlands to avoid predation. Peatlands are regarded as low productivity, nutrient-limited systems, caribou may face a trade-off between predation risk and nutrient intake through foraging. I quantified differences in plant community and plant foliar quality in boreal stands across drainage class, disturbance type and time-following-disturbance. I found that understory productivity was influenced more by drainage and time-following-disturbance than by disturbance type. I also quantified variation among stand characteristics and plant functional types using measures of plant foliar quality. Foliar quality varied mostly by plant functional type. Overall, this thesis does not support the hypothesis that caribou face a trade-off between forage quality and predation risk by selecting peatlands, as peatlands had greater levels of understory productivity and foliar quality relative to uplands.en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10214/8114
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Guelphen_US
dc.rights.licenseAll items in the Atrium are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectunderstoryen_US
dc.subjectlandscapeen_US
dc.subjectproductivityen_US
dc.subjectpercent coveren_US
dc.subjectbiomassen_US
dc.subjectwoodland caribouen_US
dc.subjectchronosequenceen_US
dc.subjectdrainageen_US
dc.subjectdisturbanceen_US
dc.subjectNitrogenen_US
dc.subjectADFen_US
dc.subjectforage qualityen_US
dc.subjectNDFen_US
dc.titleEffects of Disturbance and Landscape Position on Vegetation Structure and Productivity in Ontario Boreal Forests: Implications for Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) Forageen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US

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