White-tailed deer

Abstract

Title:  Multivariate analysis of summer white-tailed deer habitat in east Texas.
Author(s): Kroll, J. C., R. E. Zaiglin, and G. Garza
Year: 1979
Abstract: Summer habitat preferences of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were studied on the Boggy Slough Hunting Club (Houston and Trinity Cos., TX) and Brushy Creek Experimental Forest (Trinity and Polk Cos., TX). Habitat sampling points were located at radiotelemetry fixes for ten deer at Boggy Slough and night spotlight or daylight visual locations at Brushy Creek. Randomly positioned sample points served as controls. Stepwise, two group discriminant function analysis of deer habitat (n=275) and control (n=193) data was highly significant (P<0.001). Boggy Slough is dominated by uneven-aged, mixed pine-hardwood stands, while those at Brushy Creek are primarily even-aged, pure pine stands. At both study areas, higher basal areas of pine and hardwood species and high midstory closure had a negative effect on summer deer distribution. Further, deer at Boggy Slough prefer habitats with high understory cover density, yet deer at Brushy Creek prefer areas with low understory cover density. This apparent contradiction is resolved by the fact that understory at Boggy Slough is predominately hardwood browse (mostly Callicarva americana), while evergreen browse Pinus spp. And Ilex vomitoria) are most common at Brushy Creek. Usefulness of multivariate analysis in deer habitat research is discussed.

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