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Data from: Exclusion of introduced deer increases size and seed production success in an island-endemic plant species

Citation

Dvorak, Tyler M.; Catalano, Amy E. (2016), Data from: Exclusion of introduced deer increases size and seed production success in an island-endemic plant species, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hv87g

Abstract

The presence of extra-local invaders, such as the southern California mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) on Santa Catalina Island, may contribute to more selective and insidious effects within the unique ecosystems that have evolved in their absence. Studies at the species level may detect effects not noticed in broader, community level vegetation monitoring or help tease apart differences in the level of effect among the various ecological components of an invaded system. In this initial study, we measured the impacts of herbivory by mule deer, a species native to analogous habitats on the adjacent mainland, on size and seed production success for Crocanthemum greenei (island rush-rose), a federally listed sub-shrub that is not present on mainland California. We found deer exclusion resulted in an overall increase in stem measurement of 18.8 cm. Exclosure populations exhibited complete seed production success, whereas control populations showed significantly reduced success and exhibited complete failure within 58% of populations. These results show that the introduced mule deer on Santa Catalina Island are negatively affecting a federally threatened plant species. This strongly implies that the current deer management strategy is insufficient, if one of its goals is biodiversity and endemic species conservation.

Usage Notes

Location

Channel Islands
California