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Thread: Great story about browse on ADN by John S

  1. #1
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    67 mi E of Cantwell, 68 mi W of Paxson

    Default Great story about browse on ADN by John S

    Thought this was a quick and interesting article. Enjoy.

    Not sure if this is the right forum, but couldn't find another that might apply...Mods can move as they wish.
    Experience Real Alaska!

  2. #2


    From the article:
    "However, these resilient plants have the ability to fight back. When stressed, willows increase their production of tannins, which binds the proteins that moose and other browsers need -- and make the willow largely indigestible. Research in the Nelchina Basin found that moose were forced to switch to dwarf birch as their primary food source in heavily foraged locations.

    Read more here:"

    Recent studies I have read, also indicate the Willow becomes POINSONOUS. Massive die-offs of hare populations have now been attributed to that....hence the cyclic ups and downs that occur. There are now ongoing studies to see if the poison also contributes to moose deaths. From my personal observations, I am convinced that heavily browsed willow stands become poison to just about everything around them, including other plants. I have seen vast expanses of dead willows and all else around them are dead as well. These stands always appear to me as though the branches are more club like and show signs of heavy browsing and the outer bark sloughing off.
    Not a bio or botonist so just speculating. But if I were to consider using willow for medicinal purposes, I would be careful to use only young, stand alone plants for that.

    The most notable changes I have seen up along the Denali is the increase in Alder and to a much lesser amount the willow. Entire hillsides are covered by Alder now that used to be willow and dwarf birch. I HATE Alder.
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