BIOL202 - Study Guide - Lecture 8 - Supplemental Reading - Keystone Spp

BIOL202 - Study Guide - Lecture 8 - Supplemental Reading - Keystone Spp

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PREDATOR IN YELLOWSTONE RESHAPES PARK'S ENTIRE ECOSYSTEM REINTRODUCTION OF GRAY WOLVES CREATES DANGERS FOR ELK BUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR OTHER ANIMALS By Guy Gugliotta, Washington Post Staff Writer, January 26, 2004 Yellowstone National Park's riverside cottonwoods stopped growing in the mid-1920s and 1930s. Same with willows and aspen. Shoots sprang up, lingered awhile, but never matured. Park officials suspected elk were eating the new growth, but culling the herd did not help. Beginning in the late 1990s, however, things suddenly began to change. The elk moved away from the streams, and trees and willows began to grow. Researchers wondered why. They ruled out drought, flood, fire or climate change. Only one answer remained. Wolves. "For 70 years, the elk congregated next to the rivers, eating the vegetation," said Oregon State University forest ecologist William Ripple, co-author of a study on the cottonwood recovery in the park. "They don't do that anymore."
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BIOL202 - Study Guide - Lecture 8 - Supplemental Reading - Keystone Spp

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