Recovering Riparian Plant Communities with Wolves in Northern Yellowstone, USA

Beschta, R.L. and W.J. Ripple

Publication Date:

Results are consistent with the reestablishment of a tri-level trophic cascade involving wolves, ungulates, and riparian vegetation. We additionally present conceptual models of vegetation recovery, illustrating differences in plant height responses to behaviorally and density-mediated trophic cascades. Northern Yellowstone’s ‘‘experiment in time,’’ whereby wolves were removed and then reintroduced, provides new insights regarding how top predators can influence the structure and biodiversity of terrestrial ecosystems. Restoration ecologists and policymakers should consider the potential benefits of large predators as an option for helping restore degraded ecosystems.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Restoration Ecology