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Forslund, Ida, 2012. Viltanpassad röjning längs skogsbilvägar som en foderskapande åtgärd för älgen. Second cycle, A2E. Umeå: SLU, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies

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Abstract

The moose is a keystone species in the boreal forest ecosystem, but the dense Swedish population do cause some serious problems. From a forestry perspective, their browsing on young Scot pine (Pinus sylvestris) causes extensive losses of revenue. Adjusting the cleaning along roadsides of low trafficked forest roads can favour the production of plant species preferred by the moose. This is thought to redirect the moose´s browsing to the roadsides and thereby decrease the damages on commercial forest.

The aim of this study has been to present a first evaluation of the vegetation in roadsides, one year after wildlife-adapted roadside clearing has been undertaken. In the wildlifeadapted clearing operation, the roadside was widened by removal of some trees in the forest edge whereupon a complementary clearing with a conventional chain flail was conducted. The wildlife-adapted roads were compared to control roads where clearing with a chain
flail, but no cutting of larger trees had taken place. The amount of vegetation, species composition and utilization rates one year after clearance was compared between the two
treatments.

The results showed that plant species composition was similar for wildlife-adapted and conventional cleared roadsides. The width of the cleared zone was wider in wildlifeadapted roadsides, but even so no more moose forage could be found there compared with the control roadsides. One possible explanation could be an initial difference in width of the roadside before the clearing took place. Another explanation might be that differences in for example site index, soil structure and hydrology was more important for forage production than the clearing treatment. This highlights the importance to select suitable
roads for wildlife-adapted clearing. No difference in browsing frequency was found between the treatments, but there was a difference between the cleared zone closest to the road and the extra zone where trees had been removed in the wildlife-adapted roadsides. The frequency of browsing, as well as the amount of forage, were highest in the zone
closest to the road which indicates that the extra zone that were created in wildlife-adapted roadsides had minor importance for the moose.

Despite absence of documented positive effects of wildlife-adapted roadside clearing in this study, there is definitely a need to further monitor the impact of this treatment. One year after the clearing is not long enough to draw any conclusions on whether this is a useful method, and considerably more research is needed.

Main title:Viltanpassad röjning längs skogsbilvägar som en foderskapande åtgärd för älgen
Authors:Forslund, Ida
Supervisor:Roberge, Jean-Michel
Examiner:Johansson, Therese
Series:Examensarbete i ämnet biologi
Volume/Sequential designation:2012:2
Year of Publication:2012
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:SY001 Forest Science - Master's Programme 300 HEC
Department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Keywords:Alces alces, älgbete, vegetation, vägkantsröjning, skogsbilvägar
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-1025
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-1025
Subjects:Forestry production
Animal ecology
Language:Swedish
Deposited On:26 Mar 2012 07:01
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:25

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