Monday, April 10, 2006

Moose Researchers Find Plants Fight Back

Alaska Wildlife News reports that ADFG researchers are learning that plants browsed by moose can fight high levels of browsing by producing chemicals that interfere with digestion.

"Moose in the Nelchina Basin in Southcentral Alaska were showing signs of nutritional deficiencies, although they were surrounded by willow species that are normally considered high quality forage. When biologists Bill Collins and Don Spellinger looked at the plants the moose were eating, they discovered the willows were producing chemicals that interfered with the animals’ ability to digest leaves and twigs," wrote Riley Woodford in the News.

Biologists used tamed moose to better understand what is happening.

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