TITLE

Moose browsing and forage availability: a scale-dependent relationship?

AUTHOR(S)
Månsson, Johan; Andrén, Henrik; Pehrson, Åke; Bergström, Roger
PUB. DATE
March 2007
SOURCE
Canadian Journal of Zoology;Mar2007, Vol. 85 Issue 3, p372
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Scale dependence is a fundamentally important topic in ecology because it determines whether results can be generalized over different spatial scales. We studied the relationship between forage consumption by moose (Alces alces (L., 1758)) and forage availability across six nested spatial scales in south-central Sweden. By using multiple regression, we concluded that the amount of available forage was the best single variable explaining absolute consumption, irrespectively of scale. Forage species diversity, site productivity, and moose density were also important for predicting forage consumption, but their effects differed across the different spatial scales. A multiple regression including forage availability, moose density, site productivity, and forage diversity explained between 31% and 49% of the variation in forage consumption. The importance of a moose index as an explanatory variable decreased with increasing spatial scale, whereas the importance of site productivity increased. According to model selection based on Akaike's information criterion, the same model was ranked highest at the four smallest spatial scales, whereas the top-ranked models at the two largest spatial scales differed. Furthermore, the relationship between consumption and forage availability changed from underutilization at small scales to proportional use at the home range level. Thus, for a comprehensive understanding of moose browsing in relation to food resources, we conclude that a multi-scale approach is necessary.
ACCESSION #
24988816

 

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