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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Influence of repeated fertilization on forest ecosystems: Relative habitat use by mule deer and moose

Published source details

Sullivan T.P., Sullivan D.S., Lindgren P.M.F. & Ransome D.B. (2006) Influence of repeated fertilization on forest ecosystems: Relative habitat use by mule deer and moose. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 36, 1395-1406


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Apply fertilizer to trees Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 1999–2003, in two pine forest sites in British Columbia, Canada (Sullivan et al. 2006, same experimental set-up as Sullivan et al. 2006 and Sullivan et al. 2010) found that applying fertilizer to thinned stands of lodgepole pines Pinus contorta did not increase their use by mule deer Odocoileus hemionus or moose Alces alces. Mule deer use of stands did not differ significantly between fertilized and unfertilized stands in summer (fertilized: 185–700 faecal pellet groups/ha; unfertilized: 5–276) or winter (fertilized: 392–472 faecal pellet groups/ha; unfertilized: 111–261). Similarly, for moose, there was no significant difference in stand use in summer (fertilized: 13–87 faecal pellet groups/ha; unfertilized: 3–31) or winter (fertilized: 29–90 faecal pellet groups/ha; unfertilized: 21–66). Across the two sites, six forest stands in total were felled in 1978–1982 and lodgepole pine then regenerated naturally. The stands were thinned in 1993 (to 1,000 stems/ha). Three stands were then fertilized six times in 1994–2003. Faecal pellet groups were counted over two-week periods, five times in May and four times in October, in 1999–2003, in 55–145 plots/stands (plots were circles of 1.3 m radius).

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Thin trees within forest Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 1999–2003 of two pine forest sites in British Columbia, Canada (Sullivan et al. 2006) found that thinning lodgepole pine Pinus contorta stands did not lead to greater use by mule deer Odocoileus hemionus or moose Alces alces. The average number of mule deer faecal pellet groups did not differ between thinned and unthinned stands in summer (thinned stands: 219/ha; unthinned stands: 73/ha) or winter (thinned: 378/ha; unthinned: 190/ha). Similarly, there was no significant difference between stands in the quantity of moose faecal pellet groups in summer (thinned: 7/ha; unthinnged: 7/ha) or winter (thinned: 16/ha; unthinned: 30 pellet groups/ha). Across the two sites, three forest stands in total were thinned in 1993 (to 1,000 stems/ha) and three were left unthinned. Stands had been clearcut in 1978–1982 and lodgepole pine had regenerated naturally. Faecal pellet groups were counted over a two-week period, five times in May and four times in October, in 55–145 plots/stands (plots were circles of 1.26 m radius), in 1999–2003.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)