Evaluating the Effects of Exclosures on Spring Ephemerals in Cincinnati Parks
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By Jordan Gerda, Environmental Studies; Evan Bold, Environmental Studies; Hannah Lynam, Biological Sciences; Lillian Braun, Environmental Studies; Brittany Powers-Luhn, Biological Sciences; Noah Bruce, Environmental Studies; Rhalena Seballos, Biological Sciences; Jacob Lawrence , Environmental Studies; Stephen F. Matter, University of Cincinnati
Advisor: Stephen Matter
Presentation ID: 160
Abstract: An overabundance of herbivorous white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) may have a negative effect on the abundance of native spring ephemerals in urban southwestern Ohio. The Cincinnati Parks built exclosures, two in California Woods and one in Alms Park, paired with control plots of the same size in order to evaluate the effects that meso herbivores have on the local flora. Our study seeks to examine the effects that herbivory has on the abundance of spring ephemerals. We sampled ephemerals from each of the exclosures and compared them to samples from the matching control plots to estimate the effects that herbivores have on ephemerals. We hypothesize that spring ephemeral diversity and abundance will be lower in treatment than control plots due to herbivory. We will continue to collect data throughout the season to assess additional effects on plants with later phenologies.