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Red deer (Cervus elaphus) bark stripping on spruce with regard to spatial distribution of supplemental feeding places

Klemen Jerina and Mihec Dajčman and Miha Adamič (2008) Red deer (Cervus elaphus) bark stripping on spruce with regard to spatial distribution of supplemental feeding places. Zbornik gozdarstva in lesarstva (86). pp. 33-43. ISSN 0351-3114

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    Forest damages caused by red deer and some other large herbivore species occasionally feeding on tree bark, are a grave ecological and economic problem in many parts of the world. Winter supplemental feeding is commonly used to mitigate the problem, but its effects are poorly known. This study, carried out at Pohorje (Slovenia) and including over 2,300 trees, used binary logistic regression to analyse the effects of supplemental feeding and many other factors on the probability of bark stripping on spruce. The probability of bark stripping depends on distance from the forest edge, density, age and tree species diversity of stands, slope and aspect of terrain, and red deer density; contrary to expectations, it is not related to distance from feeding places. As much as 35% of spruce trees were damaged. The damage was the highest in younger, denser pure spruce stands, whose favourable protective and microclimatic conditions (thinner snow cover, higher effective temperatures) make them a preferred winter habitat for red deer. They contain,however, little other food but bark. To prevent / diminish bark stripping we propose a stronger thinning of such stands. Supplemental feeding may reduce damage only in exceptional cases, when animals are lured and concentrated in less sensitive areas, but in general we advise against the use of this measure due to its other negative effects.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Cervus elaphus, red deer, bark stripping, norway spruce, Picea abies, forest damages, supplemental feeding, Slovenia, environmental factors
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=SEARCH&base=COBIB&select=ID= 2310566
    Divisions: Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Forestry > Group for Forest protection and wildlife ecology
    Item ID: 184
    Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2014 11:27
    Last Modified: 07 Feb 2014 11:27
    URI: http://eprints.gozdis.si/id/eprint/184

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