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National Park - Fences in the Wilderness
of sign - US 212 in Lamar Valley near Soda Butte in Yellowstone National Park
taken June 2008
view of sign
views of sign with buffalo using it as a scratching post
Fences in the Wilderness
vast herds of elk and bison consume tons of sedges and grasses, yet Lamar
Valley is not turning to desert. To study the long-
effects of grazing, researchers fenced a five-acre plot on this hillside to
keep out large herbivores.
the years you would expect a dramatic contrast between fenced and unfenced vegetation.
The results, however, are more
When shrubs like willow are protected from browsing, their crowns grow fuller
though the number of plants does not
Animals prune shrubs outside the "enclosure" but the shrubs stay
healthy even after fifteen years. Apparently the are not
the unprotected vegetation.
monitoring the vegetation and the elk herd's population dynamics,
scientists can determine the interaction between the vegetation
the 10,000 to 20,000 elk that graze this northern range in
winter. Elk and bison are specialist, rarely competing for the
on the sign
addition to the text there are two pictures of range enclosures.
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