Influence of stand thinning on snowshoe hare population dynamics and feeding damage in lodgepole pine forest.
A study in young lodgepole pine forest near Prince George, BC, Canada, from 1979 to 1983 during the late increase, peak and decline phases of the Lepus americanus 10-yr cycle. Population density and recruitment increased significantly in the thinned stand during the first winter after thinning and declined thereafter as the habitat became less attractive to hares. Thinning had little or no effect on reproduction or survival of hares, but significantly reduced av. body weight. Intensity of feeding damage to crop trees coincided with phases in the cycle, with little damage to trees during the first winter after thinning as hares fed on fallen stems and foliage.