Foraging ecology of elk (Cervus elaphus) in a tallgrass prairie

Jonathan M. Conard, Philip S. Gipson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Selection of forage by wildlife may drive habitat selection and influence rates of survival and reproduction. To understand patterns in use of forage by elk (Cervus elaphus) in a tallgrass prairie, we collected groups of fecal pellets during 20052007 and determined patterns of use based on stable-isotope ratios of carbon and microhistological analysis. Elk consumed the greatest diversity of forbs during summer and the greatest diversity of grasses during winter. While our study site was dominated by warm-season C4-grasses, stable-isotope analysis indicated that elk consumed primarily C3-vegetation (cool-season grasses, forbs, or browse) during summer and winter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-96
Number of pages5
JournalSouthwestern Naturalist
Volume57
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2012

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