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Forest Management, Ungulate Grazing and Plant Conservation in the Western United States

Presented by: Burak K. Pekin, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Division of Applied Plant Ecology, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research

Rangelands are unique landscapes that support natural vegetation along with livestock grazing. While native ungulate grazers are considered keystone species across the globe, much controversy surrounds the role of domestic livestock in natural landscapes particularly in the western United States.

This talk presents findings of long term experimental research aimed at assessing the impact of cattle grazing on western forest plant communities. Responses of the forest understory in terms of plant species composition and diversity to prolonged grazing at different intensities are discussed.

The impact of cattle is compared to that of elk, a native ungulate of the western north America, and interactions between grazing and other disturbances including forest fire and logging are explored. The findings reveal insight regarding the role of ungulate grazers in maintaining plant diversity particularly in early seral stages associated with recent fire and logging.

This and all other lectures in the Seminar Series will be held at the Beckman Center Meeting Room, (next to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido) at 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Address to the Beckman Center:
15600 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, California 92027.


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