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Risto Heikkilä, Timo Mikkonen

Effects of density of young Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) stand on moose (Alces alces) browsing

Heikkilä R., Mikkonen T. (1992). Effects of density of young Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) stand on moose (Alces alces) browsing. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 231 article id 7677. https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7677

Abstract

The study was carried out at Padasjoki, Southern Finland, where moose (Alces alces L.) density on the winter range had been over 1.5 individuals/km2. Moose browsing intensity, expressed in terms of number of twigs eaten and biomass used, increased with stand density (biomass). Total biomass consumption (dry weight) per sample plot and per sapling. The number of bites increased, but the percentage biomass removed did not differ when stand density increased. A relatively large bite size was observed on the plots of low stand density. The quantity of food, which on average was of relatively low quality, was obviously important due to the benefit gained through reducing the search time.

The nutritive value of the browse, expressed in terms of chemical compounds indicating low food digestibility, was lower in the dense than in the sparse Scots pine stand. However, the amount of crude protein and arginine were relatively high in the dense stand. We concluded that shading affected the nutritional status of saplings on high density plots.

Although the biomass removed by moose per sapling was high for low density plots, the remaining biomass was larger than that on the high-density plots owing to the relatively large twig biomass of saplings. The number of saplings per hectare without main stem breakage increased significantly as stand density increased.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

Keywords
moose browsing; feeding behaviour; Alces alces; Pinus sylvestris; Scots pine; stand density; plant phenology

Published in 1992

Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/aff.7677 | Download PDF

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