L. Sisenis, B. Jansone, M. Snebergs, E. Dubrovskis, E. Racenis
Wednesday 19 December 2018 by Libadmin2018


Population densities of cervids (moose, red deer, roe deer) are increasing sharply and consistently in Latvia since middle of 1990th, causing more damages in young forest stands. It is a result of changes in farming practices well as game-management strategies by hunting clubs. Many hunting clubs tend to keep or increase the population densities of cervids with different methods, including supplemental feeding. The aim of the study is to evaluate the impact of the proximity of supplemental feeding sites on browsing damages in young stand of economically important tree species. Tree parameters and browsing damages were measured in sample plots in 27 stands, located at different distances from 8 supplemental feeding sites. Most of the damages were older the 1 year, suggesting a cumulative negative influence on the young stands over a longer period of time. Forest composition, age and distance from supplemental feeding sites had no significant effect, but local site density has significant influence on browsing damages. This suggests, that careful selection of locations of supplemental feeding sites would not be sufficient to reduce browsing damages and additional measures, like use of repellents, control of population density of cervids, needs to be applied.

Keywords: browsing, repellents, natural disturbances, cervids, population density

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