EFFECTS OF MOOSE POPULATION DENSITY ON DEVELOPMENT OF FOREST STANDS IN CENTRAL EUROPEAN RUSSIA
When moose population density is high (3–5 individuals per 1,000 hectares), deciduous trees, in particular aspen, are depressed, and cutovers are rapidly overgrown with spruce. Higher moose densities can result in the depression of spruce and degradation of the tree stands. In the near future, preservation of a high population of moose may cause the aspen to disappear and prevent regeneration of pine, oak, and mountain ash. When moose density is 2–3 individuals per 1,000 hectares, the development of stands follows its usual pattern. The composition and structure of modern forests is a function of the pattern of tree stand development on cutovers. According to modern theory, following the removal of coniferous trees on cutovers, deciduous stands are formed, and regeneration of the main coniferous forests is extended over a period of more than 100 years. As a result, coniferous forests are ubiquitously replaced by deciduous.
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