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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Casey L. Brown; Knut K. Kielland; Eugénie S. Euskirchen; Todd J. Brinkman; Roger W. Ruess; Kalin A. Kellie
Publication Date: 2018

Fire severity is an important control over regeneration of deciduous species and can influence the overall quality of habitat for herbivores, such as moose (Alces alces (Linnaeus, 1758)), but the relationships between availability and duration of biomass production and moose habitat use are largely unknown. We evaluate the relative influence of a regenerating burn, paying particular attention to fire severity, on winter forage production and duration, offtake, nutritional quality, and seasonal moose habitat use. We used data from 14 GPS collared male moose in the 20-year-old Hajdukovich Creek Burn (HCB) in interior Alaska, USA, to generate seasonal dynamic Brownian bridge movement models. Within HCB, moose selected for low-severity sites more than high- and moderate-severity sites during the winter. Over the past decade, willow (species of the genus Salix L.) biomass production in low-severity sites has doubled and is likely influencing winter habitat selection patterns. In summer, moose selected for high-severity sites where there is a more abundant understory layer (e.g., stem densities) providing both forage and cover. The initial pulse of biomass production in high-severity sites, as well as the delay in growth and maturation of vegetation in low-severity sites, indicate that differing distributions of wildfire severity can create a dynamic mosaic of habitat patches that may extend the value of burns over time for moose.

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Citation: Brown, Casey L.; Kielland, Knut; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Brinkman, Todd J.; Ruess, Roger W.; Kellie, Kalin A. 2018. Fire-mediated patterns of habitat use by male moose in Alaska. Canadian Journal of Zoology 96(3):183-192.

Cataloging Information

  • Alces alces
  • biomass
  • fire severity
  • landscape heterogeneity
  • moose
  • nutrition
  • Salix
  • space use
  • wildlife habitat
  • willow
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Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 25832