Allegheny National Forest
Allegheny National Forest is located in Allegheny plateau in northwestern Pennsylvania. The forest has a large population of white-tailed deer. These animals have a significant impact in the ecosystem of the forest. There existence dates back from pre-settlement times. Due to the rapid growth of the deer, a control system has been put in place in order to balance the forest’s ecosystem. The forest was developed by foresters who were concerned by planting new stands of trees with claims that the forest was understocked. Due to the historical change of the ecosystem and the poor state of regeneration, projects were established in order to control deer. This is because deer browsing was having a major effect on the vegetation and generally the whole of forest life (Gordon, 1940).
The ecology of this forest is majorly affected by vegetation type, forage availability, predation, weather and deer densities. The forest, from the pre-settlement period has had strains of over mature hemlock-beech and beech sugar maple. There also existed meadows that covered the mountaintops. It is believed that the best areas ecologically developed by the hurricanes and tornadoes. Forage availability influenced the population of the white-tailed deer. Furthermore, good forage was provided by the farmers who lived in villages. They sprout after the area is burnt or affected by hurricane. The changing weather trends had a great influence on the development of this forest since the pre-settlement period. Deer population were the main controllers of the vegetation and forest growth patterns, Native Americans used to kill them for proteins. Their densities varied from place to place depending on the type and area of agricultural practices. They mostly browsed the areas where the forest had matured with the influence of changing weather patterns (Marquis, 1975).
Marquis, D.A. (1975). The Allegheny Hardwood Forest. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-15. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 32
Gordon, R.B. (1940). The primeval forest types of southwestern New York. Bull No. 321. New York State Museum. 102 p.