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Moose food…isn’t good?

Moose are the largest of the deer family, an adult moose can eat up to 60 pounds of food a day. If that is not scary enough, new found research suggests that moose may be a big factor in climate change. 

Forests play a vital role in maintaining the health of our planel. The natural cycleof trees begin with the growth of a sapling. As a sapling grows, it storescarbon dioxide in its trunks through photosynthesis. However, moose eat young trees like birch or willow, meaning, the saplings planted in the forest never grow. The forest then loses its ability to sequester carbon.

As it turns out, the consumed carbon storage cuts approximately 60 percent of the carbon storage in those areas. Found by Norwegian researchers in a recent study.  

In contrary, moose also benefit the environment by increasing albedo. Albedo is the proportion of light that is reflected by a surface. As moose eat more trees, more light reflects off the forest floor, cooling the forest for years to come.

The Norwegian scientists compared both sets of data and found that the two effects impact the forest within the same magnitude. This means that it is possible to find a balance between the moose population and their effect on managing the forest areas. In succession, this can limit carbon emissions and boost biodiversity. 

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