Correlation Of Forest Characteristics With White-Tailed Deer Forage

Significal1t (P<0.05) correlation coefficients were obtained by relating various forest characteristics to amounts of selected (succulent, new-growth) forage from plants utilized by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus I'ir!{inianus) in mixed pine-hardwood forests. Forage from forbs and grasses was inversely related to most characteristics pertaining to basal area, age, dbh, height, and number of layers. Forage from vines was not significantly correlated with any forest characteristic. Forage from woody plants was directly related to hardwood density, age, dbh, and basal area. Stepwise multiple regression analyses were performed and only the forage from forbs was significantly correlated (r'=0.586) with a single forest characteristic. Four additional characteristics raised the R' to 0.716. Correlations for grass, vine, woody and total deer forage were too low to provide any confidence that deer forage could be predicted on the basis of forest measurements.

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