Trophic cascades: ungulates, birds and butterflies
Trophic cascades in the Aspen Parkland: Effects of ungulate density on shrub-dependent bird and butterfly species
Alberta, Canada
Graduate Student
M.Sc. (Ecology) (2009-2013)
Supervisor
Associate Professor & Alberta Biodiversity Conservation Chair
Status: Completed, Study ran 2009-2013, completed successfully.

Kristine is studying the cascading effects of high ungulate density on bird and butterfly species dependent on shrubs for nesting and foraging, respectively. The aim of this study is evaluate how changes in ungulate density affect vegetation composition and structure and the abundances of selected bird and butterfly species. The reduction or loss of top predators can destabilize trophic dynamics and negatively affect ecosystem stability. Research on trophic dynamics in human-modified systems support ecosystem management and, where necessary, identify the need for restoration actions. Co-supervised by Dr. Jens Roland.