Water tables constrain height recovery of willow on Yellowstone's northern range
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Excessive levels of herbivory may disturb ecosystems in ways that persist even when herbivory is moderated. These persistent changes may complicate efforts to restore ecosystems affected by herbivores. Willow (Salix spp.) communities within the northern range in Yellowstone National Park have been eliminated or degraded in many riparian areas by excessive elk (Cervus elaphus L.) browsing. Elk browsing of riparian willows appears to have diminished following the reintroduction of wolves (Canis lupis L.), but it remains uncertain whether reduced herbivory will restore willow communities. The direct ...