How can we assess deer impacts on species, communities, and ecosystems? This poster will explore a range of different monitoring methods, and will discuss the challenges addressing indirect effects and interactions. I will consider deer impacts beyond direct damage to plants that are browsed—such as the ways in which deer browsing may decrease flower availability, leading to declines in pollinators—and outline how existing methods address “trophic cascades” and other ecological processes. Examples from research in southeast Michigan over the past 20 years will be used to illustrate different approaches.
Methods for Monitoring Deer Impacts on Natural Areas
Dr. Jacqueline Courteau is an ecologist and consultant whose company, NatureWrite LLC, focuses on ecological monitoring and assessment. Projects have included developing a rapid ecological assessment for the Huron River Watershed Council, monitoring deer impacts on vegetation in various park systems, and work on oak regeneration, forest stewardship planning, invasive species, and other plant-animal interactions. She enjoys working with the public and landowners who are interested in learning about diverse habitats and species, and mentoring students and early career conservation workers. She is co-coordinator of the Professional Stewards Hike in TSN’s Huron-Arbor cluster, which aims to foster discussion and collaboration about conservation. She is also an avid collector of acorns and grower of oak seedlings.