Effects of Prescribed Fire Regimes on White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Browse, Forage, and Nutrient Availability in the Pineywoods Ecoregion of Texas
Date of Award
Master of Science - Forestry
Brian P. Oswald
Kathryn R. Kidd
Fire is a management tool for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) habitat, influencing browse availability, herbaceous production, and nutrient content. In 2020 and 2021, this study utilized 46 plots across East Texas to assess these habitat components. A stem count index survey method was used to assess browse utilization prior to April in both years, and preferred browse species were clipped and analyzed for nutrient availability, and herbaceous production was also measured. Additionally, white-tailed deer population data, browse survey data, and recent fire history were obtained from five different wildlife management areas to examine their relationship. Deer had preferences to adjusted crude protein, magnesium, and potassium. Crude protein, net energy for maintenance, field dressed weight, fawn to doe ratios, deer density, and preferred herbaceous biomass were generally higher with a more frequent burn regime. For achieving desired white-tailed deer long-term management results, site-specific burning with the appropriate frequency is crucial.
Bagwell, Wyatt L., "Effects of Prescribed Fire Regimes on White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Browse, Forage, and Nutrient Availability in the Pineywoods Ecoregion of Texas" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 480.
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