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We evaluated the influence of pack stock (i.e., horse and mule) use on meadow plant communities in Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks in the Sierra Nevada of California. Meadows were sampled to account for inherent variability across multiple scales by: 1) controlling for among-meadow variability by using remotely sensed hydro-climatic and geospatial data to pair stock use meadows with similar non-stock (reference) sites, 2) accounting for within-meadow variation in the local hydrology using in-situ soil moisture readings, and 3) incorporating variation in stock use intensity by sampling across the entire available gradient of pack stock use. Increased cover of bare ground was detected only within “dry” meadow...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE