COMPOSITIONAL ANALYSIS OF MOOSE HABIAT IN NORTHEASTERN MINNESOTA

Mark S. Lenarz, Robert Wright, Michael W. Schrage, Andrew J. Edwards

Abstract


ABSTRACT: It is well accepted that moose often use early successional habitats in the boreal forest.  It is not clear, however, whether use of disturbed habitats represents a preference or simply that moose are more detectable. Previous research based on visual observations assumed that moose were equally detectable in all cover types.  We evaluated habitat selection of moose in northeastern Minnesota using telemetry locations and LULC cover type information. We calculated second- and third-order habitat selection using composition analysis. The analyses indicated that while the Cutover cover type ranked highest in summer and winter in both second- and third-order selection, its rank was not significantly different from most other cover types during the winter. Third-order analysis indicated that the rank of Cutover was significantly higher than other cover types during the summer.  Selection for aquatic habitats during the summer was not evident in our analysis.  Cover types that could provide lower operative temperatures from shade ranked higher than aquatic cover types. Inferences from these analyses should be treated with caution because of inherent weaknesses of use-availability analyses.

Keywords


Alces; home range; habitat preference; compositional analysis; LULC cover types

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