Maria Dahm

Master student in the AURA-project

Maria is doing research for her master thesis about the impact of red deer (Cervus elaphus) on forest at the brown coal site at Søby. Red deer is the largest land-living vertebrate in Denmark, and recent research suggest that megafauna has a large impact on the ecosystem functioning and biodiversity. In some areas red deer are found at high density, which is the case at Søby brown coal site, where local hunters expect there to be a high density of about 25 red deer per 100 hectares. Our study of the ecology at Søby brown coal site, and the influence red deer have on the vegetation, should contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics in areas like this. Maria will be doing GPS tracking of the major red deer tracks, gather information on red deer bark stripping activity, and monitor population size and habitat use of the red deer by the use of camera traps.