Gundula Bartzke disputerer 23.mai. Oppgaven har tittelen "Effects of power lines on moose (Alces alces) habitat selection, movements and feeding activity".

Gundula Bartzke (The department of Biology) has submitted the following academic thesis as part of the doctoral work at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU): Effects of power lines on moose (Alces alces) habitat selection, movements and feeding activity.


Assessment Committee

The Faculty of Natural Science and Technology has appointed the following Assessment Committee to assess the thesis:

  • Professor Göran Ericsson, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)
  • Research Scientist Hege Gundersen, Marine Biology Section, The Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)
  • Adjunct Professor Elisabeth Forsgren, Department of Biology, NTNU 

Adjunct Professor Elisabeth Forsgren has been appointed Administrator of the Committee. The Committee recommends that the thesis is worthy of being publicly defended for the PhD degree.


Supervisors

  • Professor Eivin Røskaft, Department of Biology, NTNU
  • Sigbjørn Stokke, NINA
  • Roel May, NINA


Public trial lecture:

Time: 23 May 2014 at 10.15

Place: R8, Realfagbygget, NTNU Gløshaugen

Prescribed subject: “Optimal foraging of wildlife species in boreal landscapes”


Public defence of the thesis:

Time: 23 May 2014 at 13.15
Place: R8, Realfagbygget, NTNU Gløshaugen

Summary for the doctoral thesis “Effects of power lines on moose (Alces alces) habitat selection, movements and feeding activity” by Gundula S Bartzke

The thesis is based on four papers, covering various ecological effects of power lines on a large herbivore, tAhe moose (

Alces alces), in central Norway. A large set of moose GPS relocation data was analyzed for paper I (effects on moose habitat selection) and II (corridor and barrier effects). This was complemented by a field study in paper III (edge effects) and a literature review including effects on other ungulates in paper IV. Power line effects were also compared to those roads and rivers, whilst accounting for linear feature combinations. Results in paper I indicated that moose did not avoid power lines except in certain habitats in autumn. Power lines were a source of attraction in forests in winter. This may have been influenced by the provisioning of feeding opportunities in the cleared areas under the power lines following succession. In contrast, road effects varied from avoidance to attraction, possibly influenced by gender-specific sensitivity to disturbance and seasonal variations in the suitability of habitats surrounding roads. Results in paper II indicated that power lines did not pose barriers to moose movements in contrast to roads and rivers in forests. Moose increased movements along power lines when getting closer, similarly to roads and rivers, but were moving randomly when in close enough proximity to cross power lines. Results in paper III indicated that moose mostly used forests at 50-100 meters distance from the edges of the cleared area under a power line and other types of forest edges. The cleared area under the power line provided fewer stems for browsing than surrounding forests. Paper IV examined factors that may influence avoidance of power lines by ungulates. Reindeer were suspected to be disturbed by power lines in contrast to some forest ungulates. Overall, the results from this thesis indicated power lines did not disturb moose. However, moose may avoid cleared areas under power line locally where food and cover are lacking. Suggestions for improved vegetation management and power line routing were made.