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Brady W. Allred, Samuel D. Fuhlendorf, David M. Engle and R. Dwayne Elmore Ungulate preference for burned patches reveals strength of fire–grazing interaction Ecology and Evolution 1

Version of Record online: 12 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.12

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The interactions between fire and grazing are widespread throughout fire–dependent landscapes. The utilization of burned areas by grazing animals establishes the fire–grazing interaction, but the preference for recently burned areas relative to other influences (water, topography, etc.) is unknown. In this study, we determine the strength of the fire–grazing interaction by quantifying the influence of fire on ungulate site selection. We compare the preference for recently burned patches relative to the influence of other environmental factors that contribute to site selection; compare that preference between native and introduced ungulates; test relationships between area burned and herbivore preference; and determine forage quality and quantity as mechanisms of site selection. We used two large ungulate species at two grassland locations within the southern Great Plains, USA

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