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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Long-term responses of mammalian herbivores to stand thinning and fertilization in young lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) forest

Published source details

Sullivan T.P., Sullivan D.S., Lindgren P.M.F. & Ransome D.B. (2010) Long-term responses of mammalian herbivores to stand thinning and fertilization in young lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 40, 2302-2312


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 2003–2008 of two lodgepole pine Pinus contorta forests in British Colombia, Canada (Sullivan et al. 2010; same experimental set-up as Sulliavn et al. 2006 and Sulliavn et al. 2006) found that repeated fertilization of thinned forest stands did not increase their use by snowshoe hares Lepus americanus, mule deer Odocoileus hemionus or moose Alces alces. Hare faecal pellet density and mule deer and moose pellet-group density did not differ between fertilized and unfertilized stands (data not presented). Naturally regenerated young lodgepole pine stands were studied at two sites. At each site, two stands were thinned, in 1993, to each of 2,000, 1,000, 500 and 250 stems/ha. Treatment stands were fertilized five times, in 1994–2003, using fertilizer blends which included 100–200 kg nitrogen/ha. Control stands were not fertilized. Mammal faecal pellets and pellet-groups were surveyed in 5-m2 plots (55–145 plots/stand). Plots were cleared of pellets in autumn 2003. New pellets and pellet-groups were counted in spring 2008.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Thin trees within forest Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 2003–2008 of four lodgepole pine Pinus contorta forests in British Colombia, Canada (Sullivan et al. 2010) found that thinning did not increase forest stand use by snowshoe hares Lepus americanus, mule deer Odocoileus hemionus or moose Alces alces, relative to unthinned stands, 15–20 years after thinning. Hare faecal pellet density did not differ significantly between low (26,000 pellets/ha), medium (25,000 pellets/ha) or high (49,000 pellets/ha) density thinning or unthinned forest (106,000 pellets/ha). Similarly, there were no significant differences between treatments for mule deer (low: 495 pellet-groups/ha; medium: 500; high: 447; unthinned: 195) or moose (low: 190 pellet-groups/ha; medium: 88; high: 131; unthinned: 71). Naturally regenerated young lodgepole pine stands were studied at four sites. Stands were thinned, in 1988–1993, to target densities of 500 (low), 1,000 (medium) and 2,000 (high) stems/ha. Unthinned stands had >3,000 stems/ha. Mammal faecal pellets and pellet-groups were surveyed in 5-m2 plots (55–145 plots/stand). Plots were cleared of pellets in autumn 2003. New pellets and pellet-groups were counted in spring 2008.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)