Long-term changes in willow spatial distribution on the elk winter range of Rocky Mountain National Park (USA)
We determined changes in willow (Salixspp.) cover in two valleys of the eastern slope of Rocky Mountain National Park,Colorado, USA, and related these changes to suspected causative factors. Changes in vegetation were inferred from digital maps generated from aerial photo-interpretation and field surveys conducted with a global positioning system. The decrease in riparian shrub cover was approximately 20% in both valleys over the period between 1937/46 and 1996, while the decline in tall willow (> 2 m tall) cover was estimated to be approximately 55%in both valleys. Suppressed willows (< 1.5 m tall) were predominantly located in areas affected by flooding and in areas where major river reductions were observed....