Riparian willow decline in Colorado : interactions of ungulate browsing, native birds and fungi
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Willows (Salix spp.) are critical components of Rocky Mountain riparian ecosystems. They provide food for ungulates and beavers; habitat for resident and migratory bird populations, and amphibians; and are integral components of the structure and function of montane riparian ecosystems. In Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), willows form the dominant riparian shrub community. However, willow decline over the past 17 years has led to a dramatic change in riparian ecosystems in RMNP, resulting in the conversion of a tall willow community to a community dominated by short willows, with cascading ...