Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Effect of Fencing the Forest Regeneration Stages upon the Level of Damage Caused by Deer in the Lowland Forests of South-Western Poland

Version 1 : Received: 9 July 2018 / Approved: 10 July 2018 / Online: 10 July 2018 (09:03:25 CEST)

How to cite: Bobek, B.; Furtek, J.; Merta, D.; Wojciuch-Płoskonka, M. The Effect of Fencing the Forest Regeneration Stages upon the Level of Damage Caused by Deer in the Lowland Forests of South-Western Poland. Preprints 2018, 2018070161 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0161.v1). Bobek, B.; Furtek, J.; Merta, D.; Wojciuch-Płoskonka, M. The Effect of Fencing the Forest Regeneration Stages upon the Level of Damage Caused by Deer in the Lowland Forests of South-Western Poland. Preprints 2018, 2018070161 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0161.v1).

Abstract

In the lowland forests of south-western Poland, the effect of the fencing of forest regeneration stages, aged up to 20 years, upon the level of damage inflicted by red deer (Cervus elaphus), fallow deer (Dama dama), and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in non-fenced patches of this age class of forest was studied. In the studied forest districts (n=4), there was the highest proportion of the mixed coniferous‑deciduous forest types, where the main forest‑forming tree species were pine (Pinus sylvertris), birch (Betula sp.), oak (Quercus sp.), beech (Fagus sylvatica), and spruce (Picea abies). At the forest district level, the percentage of fenced areas in young forest plantations (1‑10‑year old) ranged, on average, from 9.1-30.9%, and that in tickets (11-20‑year old) ranged from 0.0%-10.2%. The percentage of areas of severely damaged young plantations fluctuated between 5.7 and 14.2%, and that of tickets fluctuated between 0.3-12.9%. For young plantations, a statistically significant correlation (“r” ranged from 0.51-0.75) was obtained between percentage of area in fenced plots and the level of damage caused by deer. For thickets, this correlation was obtained solely in Pieńsk Forest District (r = 0.646). In the studied forest districts, the fencing of young plantations and thickets resulted in the reduction of average potential food base for cervids, from 2.9 to 10.0 %. An attempt was made to interpret the level of deer damage on the basis of an index, taking into account the standing crop of deciduous browse and forbs, and the population density of cervids.

Subject Areas

cervids; damage; deer forage; fencing; forest regeneration stages; population density; Poland

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