Plant communities are monitored to prevent ungulate browsing from having an adverse effect on habitat. The monitoring process described in this paper applies to plant species capable of growing through the browse zone, and uses two measurements (percent intensely browsed and LD Index) to determine if browsing will prevent the height growth of a young plant. To determine the potential effect of browsing on habitat structure, two variables are compared: 1) Existing browsing pressure is the percent of young plants that browsing is predicted to prevent from growing to full height. 2) Threshold browsing pressure is the percent of young plants that must grow to full height to attain a specified habitat structure. The process includes specifying target conditions, data collection and analysis, and refinement based on that analysis. The process requires a long-term commitment, but a minimal investment of time each year. By repeating the process over a period of years, the effects of browsing are documented and steps in the process are refined.
Keigley, Richard B. and Frisina, Michael R.
"Process to Monitor and Manage Ungulate Browsing Pressure,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues:
Vol. 16, Article 29.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol16/iss1/29