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Simulating Succession of Riparian Spruce Forests and White-Tailed Deer Carrying Capacity in Northwestern Montana

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Rates of succession were determined during the period 1945-80 in six floodplain plant communities along the North Fork of the Flathead River, Montana. A succession model was developed to forecast the long-range effects of land-use change on the carrying capacity of white-tailed deer winter range. The areas occupied by mature spruce (Picea englemannii x glauca hybrid) and spruce-black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) forests on the floodplain were relatively constant between 1945-1980. Early seral types were more variable due to short-term variations in river flow. Successional modelling demonstrated the effects of two timber harvesting strategies on white-tailed deer populations. Simulated populations declined following two timber harvesting schedules, but recovered after cessation of harvest. An additional application of the model showed the potential effects of increased erosion rates on deer populations and demonstrated the versatility of land succession models for resource monitoring. West. J. Appl. For. 2(3):80-83, July 1987
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Cooperative Park Studies Unit, Department of Wildlife Resources, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83843

Publication date: 1987-07-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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