Long-term responses of ecosystem components to stand thinning in young lodgepole pine forest. IV. Relative habitat use by mammalian herbivores

  • Published source details Sullivan T.P., Sullivan D.S., Lindgren P.M.F. & Ransome D.B. (2007) Long-term responses of ecosystem components to stand thinning in young lodgepole pine forest. IV. Relative habitat use by mammalian herbivores. Forest Ecology and Management, 240, 32-41.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Thin trees within forest

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Thin trees within forest

    A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 2000–2004 of five second-growth lodgepole pine Pinus contorta forests in British Colombia, Canada (Sullivan et al. 2007) found that in thinned stands, the abundances of snowshoe hare Lepus americanus, mule deer Odocoileus hemionus and moose Alces alces were not greater than in unthinned stands. Faecal pellet counts for snowshoe hares were not significantly different between low-density thinned plots (70,000 pellets/ha), medium-density thinned plots (60,000 pellets/ha), high-density thinned plots (38,000 pellets/ha) or unthinned plots (13,000 pellets/ha). Similarly, despite large count variations, no significant differences between treatments were detected for mule deer (low: 259 pellet clumps/ha; medium: 79; high: 33; unthinned: 13) or moose (low: 365 pellet clumps/ha; medium: 133; high: 188; unthinned: 93). In each of three areas, four stands (17–27 years old) were studied. One stand each was thinned to low (approximately 500 stems/ha), medium (1,000 stems/ha) and high (2,000 stems/ha) tree density in 1988–1989. One was unthinned (4,700–6,000 stems/ha at time of thinning). Treatments were assigned randomly within study areas. Mammal faecal pellets and clumps were surveyed in one hundred 5-m2 plots in each stand. Plots were cleared of pellets in early October 2000. Pellets were counted in spring 2004.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust