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Herbivores transform landscapes and affect succession via selective foraging that alters vegetation composition. In the boreal forest, mammalian herbivores, mainly moose, facilitate a shift toward the dominance of heavily defended species over time, such as white spruce. The effects of moose herbivory are intensified by the browsing of snowshoe hares. However, unlike moose, snowshoe hares also browse seedlings of white spruce. We quantified herbivory by snowshoe hares on white spruce along the Tanana River, interior Alaska, and assessed the effects on white spruce demography via two different herbivore exclosure experiments. We hypothesized that both experiments would show reduced plant density and height growth...
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Snowshoe hares are the primary food source of the federally threatened Canada lynx. In western Montana for example, snowshoe hare make up 96% of lynx diet. In fact, hares are critical players in forest ecosystems because most carnivores prey on them. The main way that snowshoe hares escape predation is through camouflage. In response to changes in day length, snowshoe hares molt seasonally, changing color from brown to white in the winter to blend in with the snowfall and hide from predators. However, due to shorter snow seasons caused by recent changes in climate, snowshoe hares are turning white before it snows, making them more visible to predators. Because 21 other species around the world also undergo these...


    map background search result map search result map Can Camouflage Keep up with Climate Change? Connecting Climate Projections to Adaptation for the Snowshoe Hare Stage-dependent effects of browsing by snowshoe hares on successional dynamics in a boreal forest ecosystem Stage-dependent effects of browsing by snowshoe hares on successional dynamics in a boreal forest ecosystem Can Camouflage Keep up with Climate Change? Connecting Climate Projections to Adaptation for the Snowshoe Hare