Browsing damage on broadleaved trees in semi-natural temperate forest in Sweden, with a focus on oak regeneration
Journal article, 2005
Absence of, or poor, oak (Quercus spp.) regeneration is a problem in uneven-aged, mixed closed-canopy broadleaved forests. Browsing by ungulates on small trees may contribute to poor oak regeneration in such forests. This possibility was investigated in 25 Swedish stands, and browsing damage was analysed in relation to landscape and stand factors. The proportion of browsed small (<20 cm tall) oak seedlings and other seedlings was low, and apparently a minor mortality factor. For saplings (20130 cm tall), accumulated browsing damage was generally higher on oak than on five major competing tree species: Fraxinusexcelsior, Corylusavellana, Tiliacordata, Acerplatanoides and Sorbusaucuparia. Leaf removal was rare in late summer, except for rowan. The amount of cover (shelter) for ungulates near plots was positively correlated with oak browsing intensity; within plots, a high density of ash saplings may reduce browsing on oak saplings. In these forests, browsing probably retards growth of oak saplings relative to competing trees. Oak may persist as a minor stand component, but monitoring is needed to study future changes.
oak and broadleaved trees
Mixed closed-canopy forest