Canadian Forest Service Publications

Influence of moose browsing on successional forest growth on black spruce sites in Newfoundland. 1992. Thompson, I.D.; Curran, W.J.; Hancock, J.A.; Butler, C.E. Forest Ecology and Management 47: 29 - 37.

Year: 1992

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 28818

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1016/0378-1127(92)90263-9

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Two 225 m2 exclosures established in 1976 to eliminate browsing by moose (Alces alces Gray), were examined for tree growth and density, and species composition in 1987. Density of balsam fir (Abies balsamea L.), pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica L. fil), and high-bush cranberry (Viburnum trilobum Marsh.) were higher inside the exclosures than outside. In the case of balsam fir, there was a significantly greater number of short ( < m) dead and moribund stems outside both exclosures which had suffered browsing for 15 years. Balsam fir inside the exclosures that had been browsed were recovered. Heights of balsam fir inside were significantly higher than outside exclosures (1.01 m vs 0.60 m) and mean annual growth rate was more than three times greater inside. White birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.) were significantly taller inside both exclosures compared with outside although densities were similar. Most black spruce (Picea mariana Mill.) had attained a mean height of more than 3 m, with a density of about 1800 stems/ha. Browsing has resulted in an open stand dominated by tall black spruce with small (< 1 m) balsam fir as an understorey. The expected regeneration pattern for this site is predominantly to balsam fir. We conclude that moose are altering forest successional patterns on black spruce sites in central Newfoundland.