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Does recolonization of wolves affect moose browsing damage on young Scots pine?

Gicquel, Morgane and Sand, Håkan and Månsson, Johan and Wallgren, Martha and Wikenros, Camilla (2020). Does recolonization of wolves affect moose browsing damage on young Scots pine? Forest Ecology and Management. 473 , 118298
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Abstract

Ungulates frequently cause damage to human livelihoods, such as agriculture, livestock or forestry. In Sweden, forestry is the dominating land use and is a very important source of income. Moose (Alces alces) browsing commonly causes damage to young forest stands, mainly Scots pine (Punts sylvestris). Factors known to affect the level of moose browsing damage are moose density, forage availability, site productivity, tree species composition, snow depth, and infrastructure. One hypothesis is that the recent recolonization of wolves (Canis lupus) in Sweden may lead to a decrease in browsing damage levels, through an effect of wolf predation on moose density or moose behaviour. We used data from annual moose browsing damage surveys, long-term wolf monitoring, moose harvest statistics, habitat composition, snow depth, and road network to investigate the effect of wolf recolonization on moose browsing damage on Scots pine. Contrary to predicted, wolf territory establishment and duration showed an increase in the level of moose damage on young Scots pine. But, the effect size was small and it is questionable if it can be considered as biologically relevant. Overall, other factors were more important than wolves in explaining browsing damage on pine by moose. Presence and cover of deciduous species increased the occurrence of moose browsing damage on pine but reduced the level of damage. Decreasing snow depth and increasing road density both resulted in a lower level of damage. We suggest that the strong human impact on all trophic levels on the Swedish forest ecosystem through harvest and intense forestry practices is likely to override wolves' effects on density and behaviour of moose, as well as their potential effects on preferred browsing species for moose.

Authors/Creators:Gicquel, Morgane and Sand, Håkan and Månsson, Johan and Wallgren, Martha and Wikenros, Camilla
Title:Does recolonization of wolves affect moose browsing damage on young Scots pine?
Series Name/Journal:Forest Ecology and Management
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:473
Article number:118298
Number of Pages:10
Publisher:ELSEVIER
ISSN:0378-1127
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:Canis lupus, Alces alces, Pinus sylvestris, Forestry, Trophic cascade, Wildlife-human conflict
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107161
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107161
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118298
Web of Science (WoS)000551979700024
ID Code:22125
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:04 Feb 2021 14:43
Metadata Last Modified:04 Feb 2021 14:51

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