Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

No. 190: A DNA-based study of food choices by red deer in Klelund Dyrhave

Fløjgaard, C., Haugaard. L., de Barba, M., Taberlet, P. & Ejrnæs, R.. 2016. Fødevalg hos krondyr i Klelund Dyrehave. Undersøgelse af den rumlige og tidsmæssige variation i krondyrenes fødevalg. Aarhus Universitet, DCE – Nationalt Center for Miljø og Energi, 60 s. - Videnskabelig rapport fra DCE - Nationalt Center for Miljø og Energi nr. 190.  http://dce2.au.dk/pub/SR190.pdf

Summary

We investigate the composition of red deer diet, estimated as percent DNA-sequences in their feces, in a fenced nature area with biodiversity conservation as management goal. We also estimate the diet quality by the Nitrogen content in the feces. We compare these results to red deer outside the fence with access to a typical cultural landscape dominated by agriculture. For the hunting season, availability of data from individual animals enabled us to investigate the relationship between the red deer size-corrected weight and age, sex, diet composition and quality.  We discuss our findings in relation to the management of deer in the deer park, but also more general, including the effects of supplementary feeding and fencing on the impact of red deer grazing in nature areas.