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Yellowstone's Destabilized Ecosystem
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Yellowstone's Destabilized Ecosystem: Elk Effects, Science, and Policy Conflict

Frederic H. Wagner, Wayne L. Hamilton, and Richard B. Keigley

Abstract

Historical accounts, park records, and biologists' observations indicated that wintering elk in Yellowstone's northern range were present in low numbers prior to and at park establishment in 1872; increased to 20,000-35,000 by the early 1900s when they heavily impacted the northern-range ecosystem; and declined to 3,172 censused animals in 1968 due to park control efforts. In 1967, the park announced a politically coerced natural-regulation policy terminating park control; and in 1971 posed a natural-regulation ecological hypothesis stating that northern-range elk had been numerous prior to 18 ... More

Keywords: natural-regulation policy, natural-regulation hypothesis, northern range, elk population, vegetation subsystems, sympatric ungulates, ecosystem processes, ecosystem model, biodiversity, research objectivity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780195148213
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148213.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Frederic H. Wagner, contributor
Utah State University

Wayne L. Hamilton, contributor

Richard B. Keigley, contributor

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