Effects of Clearcutting on Moose

Because moose require large volumes of succulent browse, they respond favorably to any disturbance that reduces overstory and increases shrubs within their reach. Indeed, moose of upper and northeastern Michigan are strongly attracted to recently-disturbed upland sites such as clearcuts (Peek et al. 1976, Allen et al. 1988). In such cuttings, preferred year-round forage from hardwood tree and shrub species occurs in great abundance. Clearcuts up to 200 ac have been found to support moose for up to 25 years, or until canopy closure shades out shrub-level browse production (Allen et al. 1988).

Use of herbicides in clearcuts appears to only temporarily reduce deciduous browse for moose. After 7 to 11 years, plots treated with glyphosate have been found to have more browse (Kevin et al. 1996) and more use by moose (Eschholtz et al. 1996) than untreated plots.

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