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Snow Interception in Response to Forest Stand Attributes on Mule Deer Winter Ranges in Dry-belt Douglas-fir Forests in the Central Interior of British Columbia Dawson, R.
2023
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Abstract: Snow depth has a critically important influence on mule deer distribution, habitat selection, energy costs, and population levels. Several factors, including forest structure, slope, aspect, elevation, and subregional climate, affect snow depth. Of these factors, forest structure is the only one directly affected by forest management activities such as harvesting, pre-commercial thinning, and road building. Partial cutting in uneven-aged Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests in the central interior of British Columbia has produced a range of stand structures. Snow depth and stand attribute data were collected in 19881991 from 11 stands with a range of harvest histories. There was a strong relationship between mean snow interception and mean stand attributes, including crown completeness and basal area. Frequency distributions were used to visualize variation in snowpack depth in each stand and help explain the meaning of this variation for deer. Based on 42 winters (19802022) of snowpack data from the Environment Canada weather station at the Williams Lake airport, the depth and duration of the snowpack has not decreased, despite a warming climate, and may be increasing. The results of this study are put in the context of a specialized management system developed to provide for deer habitat and structural diversity at multiple scales on deer winter range in the Cariboo Forest Region. In addition to snow interception, key habitat functions affected by forest structure including security cover, thermal cover, and forage availability are discussed.
 
Dawson, R., Waterhouse, M. J.; and Bings, B.. 2023. Snow Interception in Response to Forest Stand Attributes on Mule Deer Winter Ranges in Dry-belt Douglas-fir Forests in the Central Interior of British Columbia. Ministry of Forests. Technical Report (FLNRORD). TR149
 
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: 
ISSN:  Scientific Name: Odocoileus hemionus
ISBN: 978-1-0399-0041-7 English Name: Mule Deer
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