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Kaibab National Forest, Utah

These conifer shapes were created by an overpopulation of deer.
The "browse line" on each tree is determined by how far up and in a deer can reach while standing next to the tree. These trees are usually not prefered by deer, but hunger caused them to eat even marginal food. Trees which were not already taller than the deer can reach will be killed; and few new trees will succeed unless the excess deer die off.
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225a2-browseline

 

photo by Howdy Howard, published in Saved by Bedbugs (2004)
 
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