The moose is the largest herbivore in the boreal forest biome, where it can have dramatic impacts on ecosystem structure and dynamics. Despite the importance of the boreal forest biome in global carbon cycling, the impacts of moose have only been studied in regional exclosure experiments, leading to calls for common analyses across a biome-wide network of moose exclosures. In this study, the authors used airborne laser scanning (ALS) to analyse forest canopy responses to moose across 100 paired exclosure-control experimental plots distributed across the boreal biome, including sites in the United States (Isle Royale), Canada (Quebec, Newfoundland), Norway, Sweden and Finland. The data from the experiments identified a largely uniform response of forest canopies to moose across regions, facilitating scaling of moose impacts across the whole boreal forest biome. This is an important step towards incorporating the effect of the largest boreal herbivore on the carbon cycling of one of the world's largest terrestrial biomes.
Petersen, T.K., Kolstad, A.L., Kouki, J., Leroux, S.J., Potvin, L.R., Tremblay, J.-P., Wallgren, M., Widemo, F., Cromsigt, J.P.G.M., Courtois, C., Austrheim, G., Gosse, J., den Herder, M., Hermanutz, L., Speed, J.D.M., n.d. Airborne laser scanning reveals uniform responses of forest structure to moose (Alces alces) across the boreal forest biome. Journal of Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.14093