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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

Overview of field sampling design.Schematic of sampling grid used to select sampling plots within sites for quantifying the proportion of plants browsed by moose in Newfoundland, Canada. We used stratified random sampling and the gray boxes represent one potential set of plots sampled at a site. The total width of the site was divided by 3 to ensure that there were 3 rows of sampling. The black box represents the 9-m2 quadrat that was sampled within each of the gray plots.
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pone.0133155.g002: Overview of field sampling design.Schematic of sampling grid used to select sampling plots within sites for quantifying the proportion of plants browsed by moose in Newfoundland, Canada. We used stratified random sampling and the gray boxes represent one potential set of plots sampled at a site. The total width of the site was divided by 3 to ensure that there were 3 rows of sampling. The black box represents the 9-m2 quadrat that was sampled within each of the gray plots.

Mentions: We used a stratified random sampling grid to measure the number of plants browsed by moose per plot in roadside areas with cut vegetation and in nearby control areas [26]. A 45 m long grid was laid out parallel to the roadway and subset into 9 5-m sections. The width of the sampling grid was determined by the width of the roadside vegetation cut area at each site. We divided the width into 3 equal sections, giving us 27 potential plots to sample per grid. We randomly selected 9 plots, one in each 5-m section, making sure to avoid having spatially adjacent plots (Fig 2). We sampled vegetation in a 9-m2 quadrat placed in the center of each of the 9 plots per site.


Effect of Roadside Vegetation Cutting on Moose Browsing.

Tanner AL, Leroux SJ - PLoS ONE (2015)

Overview of field sampling design.Schematic of sampling grid used to select sampling plots within sites for quantifying the proportion of plants browsed by moose in Newfoundland, Canada. We used stratified random sampling and the gray boxes represent one potential set of plots sampled at a site. The total width of the site was divided by 3 to ensure that there were 3 rows of sampling. The black box represents the 9-m2 quadrat that was sampled within each of the gray plots.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4526696&req=5

pone.0133155.g002: Overview of field sampling design.Schematic of sampling grid used to select sampling plots within sites for quantifying the proportion of plants browsed by moose in Newfoundland, Canada. We used stratified random sampling and the gray boxes represent one potential set of plots sampled at a site. The total width of the site was divided by 3 to ensure that there were 3 rows of sampling. The black box represents the 9-m2 quadrat that was sampled within each of the gray plots.
Mentions: We used a stratified random sampling grid to measure the number of plants browsed by moose per plot in roadside areas with cut vegetation and in nearby control areas [26]. A 45 m long grid was laid out parallel to the roadway and subset into 9 5-m sections. The width of the sampling grid was determined by the width of the roadside vegetation cut area at each site. We divided the width into 3 equal sections, giving us 27 potential plots to sample per grid. We randomly selected 9 plots, one in each 5-m section, making sure to avoid having spatially adjacent plots (Fig 2). We sampled vegetation in a 9-m2 quadrat placed in the center of each of the 9 plots per site.

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