Limits...
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

Segmented regression analysis of moose plant preference.Segmented regression analysis used to determine preferred plant species for moose within the entire study. The proportion of browsable plants browsed was determined using plants that were browsed at least once by moose in the entire study and then calculated as (the number of browsed plants of species i/ the total number of plants of species i). The threshold occurs after Bebb’s willow (Salix bebbiana), indicating that all plants from northern wild raisin (Viburnum nudum) through red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) are considered preferred forage species for moose in our study area. The n value before each plant name indicates the total number of individuals in all plots. Equation and R2 for each line segment (line 1: y = 0.0027x−0.0082, R2 = 0.91; line 2: y = 0.0475x−0.8398, R2 = 0.98).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0133155.g003: Segmented regression analysis of moose plant preference.Segmented regression analysis used to determine preferred plant species for moose within the entire study. The proportion of browsable plants browsed was determined using plants that were browsed at least once by moose in the entire study and then calculated as (the number of browsed plants of species i/ the total number of plants of species i). The threshold occurs after Bebb’s willow (Salix bebbiana), indicating that all plants from northern wild raisin (Viburnum nudum) through red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) are considered preferred forage species for moose in our study area. The n value before each plant name indicates the total number of individuals in all plots. Equation and R2 for each line segment (line 1: y = 0.0027x−0.0082, R2 = 0.91; line 2: y = 0.0475x−0.8398, R2 = 0.98).

Mentions: Of the 32 plant species that showed at least one occurrence of moose browse in the study, 18 species show very low frequency of moose browse (mean = 1.74%, range = 0.05% to 4.76% of individual plants were browsed) and 14 species showed relatively high frequency of moose browse (mean = 37.14%, range = 7.43% to 72.73% of individual plants were browsed) (Fig 3). Our segmented regression of browse frequency identified a single threshold (i.e. a shift in frequency of moose browse) in the proportion of moose browse at 4.76% browse (Fig 3). Consequently, we considered plants with more than 4.76% browse to be preferred plants for moose. In terms of abundance, wild red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) is abundant (n = 2954) but rarely selected when present, while trembling aspen is scarce (n = 13) but often selected when present (Fig 3).


Effect of Roadside Vegetation Cutting on Moose Browsing.

Tanner AL, Leroux SJ - PLoS ONE (2015)

Segmented regression analysis of moose plant preference.Segmented regression analysis used to determine preferred plant species for moose within the entire study. The proportion of browsable plants browsed was determined using plants that were browsed at least once by moose in the entire study and then calculated as (the number of browsed plants of species i/ the total number of plants of species i). The threshold occurs after Bebb’s willow (Salix bebbiana), indicating that all plants from northern wild raisin (Viburnum nudum) through red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) are considered preferred forage species for moose in our study area. The n value before each plant name indicates the total number of individuals in all plots. Equation and R2 for each line segment (line 1: y = 0.0027x−0.0082, R2 = 0.91; line 2: y = 0.0475x−0.8398, R2 = 0.98).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0133155.g003: Segmented regression analysis of moose plant preference.Segmented regression analysis used to determine preferred plant species for moose within the entire study. The proportion of browsable plants browsed was determined using plants that were browsed at least once by moose in the entire study and then calculated as (the number of browsed plants of species i/ the total number of plants of species i). The threshold occurs after Bebb’s willow (Salix bebbiana), indicating that all plants from northern wild raisin (Viburnum nudum) through red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) are considered preferred forage species for moose in our study area. The n value before each plant name indicates the total number of individuals in all plots. Equation and R2 for each line segment (line 1: y = 0.0027x−0.0082, R2 = 0.91; line 2: y = 0.0475x−0.8398, R2 = 0.98).
Mentions: Of the 32 plant species that showed at least one occurrence of moose browse in the study, 18 species show very low frequency of moose browse (mean = 1.74%, range = 0.05% to 4.76% of individual plants were browsed) and 14 species showed relatively high frequency of moose browse (mean = 37.14%, range = 7.43% to 72.73% of individual plants were browsed) (Fig 3). Our segmented regression of browse frequency identified a single threshold (i.e. a shift in frequency of moose browse) in the proportion of moose browse at 4.76% browse (Fig 3). Consequently, we considered plants with more than 4.76% browse to be preferred plants for moose. In terms of abundance, wild red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) is abundant (n = 2954) but rarely selected when present, while trembling aspen is scarce (n = 13) but often selected when present (Fig 3).

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