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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

Proportion of plants browsed in each treatment and control site.The proportion of plants browsed by moose in all of the control sites (Control) vs all of the treatment sites cut from 2008–2010 (Treatment 1) vs all of the treatment sites cut from 2011–2013 (Treatment 2). Each point represents data from a single plot. The solid black lines represent the median proportion of browsed plants in each of the control (median = 0.13), treatment 1 (median = 0.02), and treatment 2 (median = 0.00) groups. For the 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.g004: Proportion of plants browsed in each treatment and control site.The proportion of plants browsed by moose in all of the control sites (Control) vs all of the treatment sites cut from 2008–2010 (Treatment 1) vs all of the treatment sites cut from 2011–2013 (Treatment 2). Each point represents data from a single plot. The solid black lines represent the median proportion of browsed plants in each of the control (median = 0.13), treatment 1 (median = 0.02), and treatment 2 (median = 0.00) groups. For the locations; BAD: Badger, GFW: Grand Falls-Windsor, GAN: Gander Bay, MAN: La Manche Provincial Park, REN: Renews-Cappahayden, and SPA: Spaniards Bay.

Mentions: The proportion of moose browse in the control areas was 5.67 times higher than the proportion of moose browse in the 2008–2010 cut treatment areas and it was considerably higher than proportion of browse in the 2011–2013 cut treatment areas (Fig 4). The proportion of moose browse in the 2008–2010 cut treatment areas was also higher than the proportion of browse in the 2011–2013 cut treatment areas (Fig 4). The percent of vegetation within 3 different height categories (<30 cm, 30–200 cm, and >200 cm) was found to be comparable between both treatment and control sites (S6 Table).


Effect of Roadside Vegetation Cutting on Moose Browsing.

Tanner AL, Leroux SJ - PLoS ONE (2015)

Proportion of plants browsed in each treatment and control site.The proportion of plants browsed by moose in all of the control sites (Control) vs all of the treatment sites cut from 2008–2010 (Treatment 1) vs all of the treatment sites cut from 2011–2013 (Treatment 2). Each point represents data from a single plot. The solid black lines represent the median proportion of browsed plants in each of the control (median = 0.13), treatment 1 (median = 0.02), and treatment 2 (median = 0.00) groups. For the 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
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4526696&req=5

pone.0133155.g004: Proportion of plants browsed in each treatment and control site.The proportion of plants browsed by moose in all of the control sites (Control) vs all of the treatment sites cut from 2008–2010 (Treatment 1) vs all of the treatment sites cut from 2011–2013 (Treatment 2). Each point represents data from a single plot. The solid black lines represent the median proportion of browsed plants in each of the control (median = 0.13), treatment 1 (median = 0.02), and treatment 2 (median = 0.00) groups. For the locations; BAD: Badger, GFW: Grand Falls-Windsor, GAN: Gander Bay, MAN: La Manche Provincial Park, REN: Renews-Cappahayden, and SPA: Spaniards Bay.
Mentions: The proportion of moose browse in the control areas was 5.67 times higher than the proportion of moose browse in the 2008–2010 cut treatment areas and it was considerably higher than proportion of browse in the 2011–2013 cut treatment areas (Fig 4). The proportion of moose browse in the 2008–2010 cut treatment areas was also higher than the proportion of browse in the 2011–2013 cut treatment areas (Fig 4). The percent of vegetation within 3 different height categories (<30 cm, 30–200 cm, and >200 cm) was found to be comparable between both treatment and control sites (S6 Table).

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