The effects of shading and fertilizer on the palatability, regrowth and phenolic concentrations of Salix alaxensis following simulated snowshoe hare browsing (Lepus americanus) were determined in this study. Simulated browsing reduced height, but enhanced twig growth, whereas shading reduced height and twig growth. Fertilizer and shade treatments reduced concentrations of phenolics and soluble carbohydrates in clipped plants, enhancing their palatability and reducing their ability to recover from browsing. The reduced height of browsed willows will most likely increase the shading of these plants within the plant community, and repeated browsing and shading will further reduce phenolic and soluble carbohydrate concentrations, eventually leading to the death of these plants.
Citations and enhanced abstracts for journals articles and documents focused on rangeland ecology and management. RSIS is a collaboration between Montana State University, University of Idaho, and University of Wyoming.