Selection of microsites by grizzly bears to excavate biscuitroots (Lomatium cous)

Journal of Mammalogy


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Roots of the biscuitroot (Lomatium cous) are a common food of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) in drier parts of their southern range. I used random sampling and locations of radiomarked bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem to investigate the importance of mass and starch content of roots, digability of the site, and density of plants relative to selection of sites by grizzly bears to dig biscuitroots. Where biscuitroots were present, most differences between dug and undug sites were related to digability of the site and mass and starch content of roots. Grizzly bears more often dug in sites where average milligrams of starch per kilogram of pull per root (a??energy gain) was high. Density of biscuitroots was not related to selection of sites by grizzly bears. Mass of biscuitroot stems also provided relatively little information about mass of roots. Distribution of biscuitroots was associated with increased cover of rocks and exposure to wind, and with decreased slopes and cover of forbs. Digs by grizzly bears were associated with the presence of biscuitroots, proximity to edge of forest, and increased cover of rocks. Results were consistent with previously observed tendencies of grizzly bears to concentrate their feeding within 50-100 m of cover.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Selection of microsites by grizzly bears to excavate biscuitroots (Lomatium cous)
Series title Journal of Mammalogy
Volume 78
Issue 1
Year Published 1997
Language English
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description p. 228-238
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Mammalogy
First page 228
Last page 238
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