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Greater Sage-GrouseEcology and Conservation of a Landscape Species and Its Habitats$
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Steven Knick

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267114

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267114.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

Influences of Free-Roaming Equids on Sagebrush Ecosystems, with a Focus on Greater Sage-Grouse

Influences of Free-Roaming Equids on Sagebrush Ecosystems, with a Focus on Greater Sage-Grouse

Chapter:
(p.272) (p.273) Chapter Fourteen Influences of Free-Roaming Equids on Sagebrush Ecosystems, with a Focus on Greater Sage-Grouse
Source:
Greater Sage-Grouse
Author(s):

Erik A. Beever

Cameron L. Aldridge

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520267114.003.0015

Free-roaming equids (horses [Equus caballus] and burros [E. asinus]) in the United States were introduced to North America at the end of the fifteenth century, and have unique management status among ungulates. Past research has elaborated that free-roaming horses can exert notable direct influences in sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) communities on structure and composition of vegetation and soils, as well as indirect influences on numerous animal groups whose abundance collectively may indicate the ecological integrity of such communities. Alterations to vegetation attributes and invertebrates can most directly affect fitness of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and other sagebrush-obligate species; alterations of soils and other ecosystem properties may also indirectly affect these species. Many wildlife species have been negatively affected by changes to sagebrush ecosystems. For example, many sagebrush-obligate birds have experienced population declines and range contractions over the past forty years.

Keywords:   Equus, burros, Centrocercus urophasianus, sagebrush, sagebrush ecosystems, horses, Greater Sage-Grouse, Artemisia, wildlife, vegetation

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