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The cumulative effect of consecutive winters' snow depth on moose and deer populations: a defence

Journal of Animal Ecology

4785_McRoberts.pdf
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Abstract

1. L. D. Mech et al. presented evidence that moose Alces alces and deer Odocoileus virginianus population parameters re influenced by a cumulative effect of three winters' snow depth. They postulated that snow depth affects adult ungulates cumulatively from winter to winter and results in measurable offspring effects after the third winter. 2. F. Messier challenged those findings and claimed that the population parameters studied were instead affected by ungulate density and wolf indexes. 3. This paper refutes Messier's claims by demonstrating that his results were an artifact of two methodological errors. The first was that, in his main analyses, Messier used only the first previous winter's snow depth rather than the sum of the previous three winters' snow depth, which was the primary point of Mech et al. Secondly, Messier smoothed the ungulate population data, which removed 22-51% of the variability from the raw data. 4. When we repeated Messier's analyses on the raw data and using the sum of the previous three winter's snow depth, his findings did not hold up.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
The cumulative effect of consecutive winters' snow depth on moose and deer populations: a defence
Series title:
Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume
64
Issue:
1
Year Published:
1995
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
131-135
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Animal Ecology
First page:
131
Last page:
135