Bison – Capable Ecosystem Engineers

We can learn a lot from Bison and the way they graze. This article is the result of a longterm study of Yellowstone Bison. It explains their carefully choreographed migration in sync with the seasons, and how their movements create the best food.

“A real strength of our work was the pairing of on-the-ground grassland plots with remote sensing data, as well as GPS collar data from bison,” says Hebblewhite, professor of ungulate habitat ecology at the University of Montana. “The fact that we could see the effects of bison on grasslands from space and interpret these effects with a long-term, carefully designed grasslands experiment highlights the team’s skill set. Our work shows that bison are capable ecosystem engineers, able to modify grasslands in a way that enhances their own grazing.”

On Pasture Article: ‘Bison create their own green-up”

Cover Photo Credit: Diapicard (

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