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Effect of Roadside Vegetation Cutting on Moose Browsing.

Tanner AL, Leroux SJ - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Using a model selection approach, we fit generalized linear mixed-effects models to determine the most parsimonious set of environmental variables to explain variation in the proportion of moose browse among sites.In contrast to our hypothesis, our results show that the proportion of moose browse in the uncut control areas was significantly higher than in the cut treatment areas.The results of this study suggest that recently cut roadside areas (7 years or less based on our work) may create a less attractive foraging habitat for moose.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Moose (Alces americanus ) vehicle collisions (MVCs) are an issue throughout the distribution of moose. Many mitigation strategies have been tested and implemented to reduce the number of MVCs, but there have been few empirical analyses of the effectiveness of roadside vegetation cutting. The goal of this study was to determine if roadside vegetation cutting attracted moose into roadside areas to browse on the vegetation regrowth. We hypothesized that moose would be attracted to roadside areas with cut vegetation. Consequently, we predicted that there would be higher levels of browsing in cut areas compared to uncut areas. To determine if moose were browsing more in cut or uncut areas, we measured the number of plants browsed by moose in paired treatment (cut on or after 2008) and control (not cut since at least 2008) sites, along with a suite of potential environmental covariates. Using a model selection approach, we fit generalized linear mixed-effects models to determine the most parsimonious set of environmental variables to explain variation in the proportion of moose browse among sites. In contrast to our hypothesis, our results show that the proportion of moose browse in the uncut control areas was significantly higher than in the cut treatment areas. The results of this study suggest that recently cut roadside areas (7 years or less based on our work) may create a less attractive foraging habitat for moose. The majority of the variance in the proportion of moose browse among sites was explained by treatment type and nested plot number within site identification (34.16%), with additional variance explained by traffic region (5.00%) and moose density (4.35%). Based on our study, we recommend that vegetation cutting be continued in roadside areas in Newfoundland as recently cut areas may be less attractive browsing sites for moose.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Map of study sites.The locations of the paired treatment (TRT, black points) and control (CRL, gray points) locations used in our study in Newfoundland, Canada. The linear gray features are roads. Vegetation and evidence of moose browse at the sites was sampled from June 17th–July 23rd 2014. Locations; BAD: Badger, GFW: Grand Falls-Windsor, GAN: Gander Bay, MAN: La Manche Provincial Park, REN: Renews-Cappahayden, and SPA: Spaniards Bay.
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pone.0133155.g001: Map of study sites.The locations of the paired treatment (TRT, black points) and control (CRL, gray points) locations used in our study in Newfoundland, Canada. The linear gray features are roads. Vegetation and evidence of moose browse at the sites was sampled from June 17th–July 23rd 2014. Locations; BAD: Badger, GFW: Grand Falls-Windsor, GAN: Gander Bay, MAN: La Manche Provincial Park, REN: Renews-Cappahayden, and SPA: Spaniards Bay.

Mentions: Newfoundland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean that falls within the boreal forest region. The study was conducted from June 17th to July 23rd 2014 along roadsides in two ecoregions in Newfoundland, Canada: maritime barrens and central Newfoundland forest. The sites in the maritime barrens region, on the Avalon Peninsula, were La Manche Provincial Park (MAN), Renews-Cappahayden (REN), and Spaniard’s Bay (SPA) (Fig 1). The region is dominated by black spruce (Picea mariana), balsam fir (Abies balsamea), tamarack (Larix laricina) and many shrub and lichen species, with a mean annual precipitation of 1,400 mm and temperature of 5.5°C [24]. The sites in the central Newfoundland forest region were Badger (BAD), Grand Falls-Windsor (GFW), and Gander Bay (GAN) (Fig 1). The region is dominated by black spruce, balsam fir, paper birch (Betula papyrifera), trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides), and sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia), with a mean annual precipitation of 1,150 mm and temperature of 4.5°C [25].


Effect of Roadside Vegetation Cutting on Moose Browsing.

Tanner AL, Leroux SJ - PLoS ONE (2015)

Map of study sites.The locations of the paired treatment (TRT, black points) and control (CRL, gray points) locations used in our study in Newfoundland, Canada. The linear gray features are roads. Vegetation and evidence of moose browse at the sites was sampled from June 17th–July 23rd 2014. Locations; BAD: Badger, GFW: Grand Falls-Windsor, GAN: Gander Bay, MAN: La Manche Provincial Park, REN: Renews-Cappahayden, and SPA: Spaniards Bay.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4526696&req=5

pone.0133155.g001: Map of study sites.The locations of the paired treatment (TRT, black points) and control (CRL, gray points) locations used in our study in Newfoundland, Canada. The linear gray features are roads. Vegetation and evidence of moose browse at the sites was sampled from June 17th–July 23rd 2014. Locations; BAD: Badger, GFW: Grand Falls-Windsor, GAN: Gander Bay, MAN: La Manche Provincial Park, REN: Renews-Cappahayden, and SPA: Spaniards Bay.
Mentions: Newfoundland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean that falls within the boreal forest region. The study was conducted from June 17th to July 23rd 2014 along roadsides in two ecoregions in Newfoundland, Canada: maritime barrens and central Newfoundland forest. The sites in the maritime barrens region, on the Avalon Peninsula, were La Manche Provincial Park (MAN), Renews-Cappahayden (REN), and Spaniard’s Bay (SPA) (Fig 1). The region is dominated by black spruce (Picea mariana), balsam fir (Abies balsamea), tamarack (Larix laricina) and many shrub and lichen species, with a mean annual precipitation of 1,400 mm and temperature of 5.5°C [24]. The sites in the central Newfoundland forest region were Badger (BAD), Grand Falls-Windsor (GFW), and Gander Bay (GAN) (Fig 1). The region is dominated by black spruce, balsam fir, paper birch (Betula papyrifera), trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides), and sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia), with a mean annual precipitation of 1,150 mm and temperature of 4.5°C [25].

Bottom Line: Using a model selection approach, we fit generalized linear mixed-effects models to determine the most parsimonious set of environmental variables to explain variation in the proportion of moose browse among sites.In contrast to our hypothesis, our results show that the proportion of moose browse in the uncut control areas was significantly higher than in the cut treatment areas.The results of this study suggest that recently cut roadside areas (7 years or less based on our work) may create a less attractive foraging habitat for moose.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Moose (Alces americanus ) vehicle collisions (MVCs) are an issue throughout the distribution of moose. Many mitigation strategies have been tested and implemented to reduce the number of MVCs, but there have been few empirical analyses of the effectiveness of roadside vegetation cutting. The goal of this study was to determine if roadside vegetation cutting attracted moose into roadside areas to browse on the vegetation regrowth. We hypothesized that moose would be attracted to roadside areas with cut vegetation. Consequently, we predicted that there would be higher levels of browsing in cut areas compared to uncut areas. To determine if moose were browsing more in cut or uncut areas, we measured the number of plants browsed by moose in paired treatment (cut on or after 2008) and control (not cut since at least 2008) sites, along with a suite of potential environmental covariates. Using a model selection approach, we fit generalized linear mixed-effects models to determine the most parsimonious set of environmental variables to explain variation in the proportion of moose browse among sites. In contrast to our hypothesis, our results show that the proportion of moose browse in the uncut control areas was significantly higher than in the cut treatment areas. The results of this study suggest that recently cut roadside areas (7 years or less based on our work) may create a less attractive foraging habitat for moose. The majority of the variance in the proportion of moose browse among sites was explained by treatment type and nested plot number within site identification (34.16%), with additional variance explained by traffic region (5.00%) and moose density (4.35%). Based on our study, we recommend that vegetation cutting be continued in roadside areas in Newfoundland as recently cut areas may be less attractive browsing sites for moose.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus