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Modeling Feeding Preferences by Hare and Deer Among Douglas-fir Genotypes

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Data on deer and hare preference for Douglas-fir genotypes in eight pen and two field trials were compared to data generated from a mathematical model. The model predicted sequential preference changes from the products of two probabilities that accounted for a changing availability (Pa) and an assumed constant palatability (Pp for each of several, simultaneously tested plant types. In all 10 experiments, data were closely mimicked by the model. In only one experiment did the predicted feeding sequence deviate significantly from actual data. High correlations were achieved among (Pp values calculated independently for duplicate tests of identical genotypes. Since (Pp is a mathematical estimate of palatability--itself a qualitative phenomenon--the concept may prove useful for aiding interpretations of other studies expressing animal preference as an integration of plant availability and palatability. Forest Sci. 24:57-64.

Keywords: Availability; Lepus americanus; Odocoileus hemionus columbianus; Palatability; Pseudotsuga menziesii; clone; cross

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Principal silviculturist, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Corvallis, Oregon

Publication date: March 1, 1978

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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