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Browsing Damage on Pine (Pinus sylvestris and P. contorta) by a migrating moose (Alces alces) Population in Winter: Relation to Habitat Composition and Road Barriers

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Abstract:

In Scandinavia, moose (Alces alces L.) sometimes cause severe browsing damage to economically-important pine. Moose-vehicle accidents have spurred construction of fences along roads, and these may interfere with moose migration between summer and winter ranges, or the road alone may be a barrier. If this happens and moose build up along roads, landowners may suffer economically. Therefore, this study investigated whether roads, fences or other factors influence the use of young pine stands by moose. Eighty stands along roads in northern Sweden were evaluated in which individually-browsed branches were counted on 9972 pines. Moose browsing was not significantly related to birch (Betula pendula Roth, B. pubescens Ehrh.) density, nor did it differ between pines (Pinus contorta Douglas or P. sylvestris L.). However, increased pine density, site productivity and proximity to a highway were associated with increased browsing. Further large-scale studies are needed to understand moose habitat selection and the effects of roads.

Keywords: BETULA; BIRCH; CLEAR; CUTS; FENCES; LODGEPOLE; PINE; PLANTATIONS; REGENERATING; SCANDINAVIA; SCOTS; SELECTION; STANDS; YOUNG

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/028275802320435441

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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