Modelling scenarios for forest conservation through restoration following moose (Alces alces) disturbance

Noonan, Meghan (2019) Modelling scenarios for forest conservation through restoration following moose (Alces alces) disturbance. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Hyper-abundant ungulates can act as a disturbance and hinder natural forest regeneration w hen they severely overbrowse vegetation. In Newfoundland ( Canada), hyper - abundant moose have suppressed balsam fir advanced regeneration producing alternate stable states. I integrated data from field observations and experiments, aerial photographs and drone imagery to par a meterize mathematical models of boreal understory and canopy regeneration in Newfoundland. I used simulations to evaluate several restoration scenarios for moose impacted forests, including reduced browsing pressure and seedling planting. Model outcomes suggest active restoration via planting birch and balsam fir seedlings is required to restore the understory and canopy vegetation to its natural state in large canopy gaps, and any planting should be done under low moose browsing pressure or within moose exclosures. The study found that Markov models parameterized by aggregate data with simulated herbivory can be used to support experimental studies and strengthen evidence for restoration planning.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13864
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: Balsam fir, Boreal forest, Ecological restoration, Ecosystem management, Forest regeneration, Herbivore hyper-abundance, Markov model
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: May 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Forest conservation--Mathematical models; Taiga ecology--Mathematical models; Animal-plant relationships--Newfoundland and Labrador

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