Tag Archives: trophic cascade

Wolves, aspen, elk and fire

Cristina Eisenberg gave a presentation on her research into the interrelationship between predators, prey and landscape May 2. The Hungry Horse news has an interesting write-up on this report . . .

There are things one knows to be true in the natural world of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. There are wolves, there are elk, elk are chased down and eaten by wolves, and elk do everything they can to avoid being eaten. It’s nature.

Add a wild card to the mix, like the huge wildfires that have grazed the landscape in the North Fork of the Flathead, and one sees something else — lush growth of new stands of aspen, a tree coveted not only for its aesthetics but as a food resource for elk.

Oregon state researcher and author Cristina Eisenberg has been studying the relationships between elk, aspens, wolves and fires for several years in the adjoining national parks. Over the years, she’s compared the density of elk and wolves in three different but similar regions — the North Fork, St. Mary and Waterton valleys. She talked about her findings at the Glacier National Park Community Hall on May 2.

Continue reading . . .

Biologist’s findings show forest diversity & health influenced by wolves

The October 25th Missoulian had a fascinating article — with photos — on Cristina Eisenberg’s study of the surprisingly broad impact wolves have on the general forest ecosystem. Thanks to Oliver Meister for pointing this one out . . .

A clinging mist quieted the morning meadow, the icy hem of its robes brushing silent against autumn’s crackling knee-high grass.

In the darkest shadows, the cold crunch of snow remained, criss-crossed with wolf tracks, bear tracks, elk and deer tracks. Scat and bone and hair and hide. These were the morning news reports written in muddied prints, each with a thin film of ice.

Cristina Eisenberg scanned the headlines, then waded into the meadow to read the particulars.

“It’s all here,” the researcher said. “You just have to know the language.”

Read the entire article . . .