Sampling bias exaggerates a textbook example of a trophic cascade

Elaine Brice, Eric Larsen & Daniel MacNulty
Understanding trophic cascades in terrestrial wildlife communities is a major challenge because these systems are difficult to sample properly. We show how a tradition of nonrandom sampling has confounded this understanding in a textbook system (Yellowstone National Park) where carnivore [Canis lupus (wolf)] recovery is associated with a trophic cascade involving changes in herbivore [Cervus canadensis (elk)] behavior and density that promote plant regeneration. Long-term data indicate a practice of sampling only the tallest young...
2 citations reported since publication in 2021.
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