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Winter Browsing by Moose on Two Birch Species: Impact on Food Resources

Kjell Danell and Roger Bergström
Oikos
Vol. 55, No. 1 (May, 1989), pp. 11-18
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3565866
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3565866
Page Count: 8
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Winter Browsing by Moose on Two Birch Species: Impact on Food Resources
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Abstract

The effect of simulated winter-browsing by moose on the birches Betula pendula and B. pubescens was studied during three years of repeated clipping. For the first species no effect of clipping was seen on shoot biomass produced, while the same treatment decreased shoot production of the latter. Shoot size increased as a response to clipping in both species. In general, the current annual long-shoots of clipped trees contained less minerals and ether-extractable compounds, but more fibre than unclipped ones. These responses were not solely due to the increased shoot size as we found similar changes in shoot parts of the same diameter. The effect of these changed attributes for palatability and food quality to moose is difficult to evaluate, but our earlier studies have shown that birches affected by moose browsing (natural or simulated) are more browsed than control birches.

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