Are ungulates in forests concerns or key species for conservation and biodiversity? Reply to Boulanger et al. (DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13899)

Boulanger et al. investigated the effect of ungulate grazing on forest understory plant community composition using exclosures in forests, mainly plantations, over a 10 year period. They found increasing richness of herbaceous plant species with grazing, promoting light-demanding species, while shrub richness decreased. Although grazing did not cause changes to forest-specialist species richness, the authors conclude that ungulate grazing - even at relatively low densities - is detrimental to forest-specialists, and contributes to a landscape-level biotic homogenization.