MOOSE HABITAT AND FOREST SUCCESSION OF THE TANANA RIVER FLOODPLAIN AND YUKON-TANANA UPLAND
Production, availability, and utilization of woody browse by moose in winter were recorded in stands of 16 different ages on the Tanana River floodplain and the Yukon-Tanana uplands of Alaska. These stands represented primary and secondary succession following fire, flooding, and clearing. The forage available included 198 kg/ha in a 1-year-old aspen stand, 167 kg/ha in an 11-year-old birch stand, and 66 kg/ha in a 16-year-old willow stand. Stands greater than 25 years post-disturbance had less than 10 kg of browse per hectare. Aspen stands provide the most browse 1-5 years post-disturbance, whereas birch and willow stands provide the most browse between 10 and 16 years. Browsing intensities ranged from 0% to 56% in most stands, suggesting moose are below their habitat carrying capacities. The use of browse availability and consumption rates to determine carrying capacities and moose-days are discussed.
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