Advertisement

Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 500–508 | Cite as

Effects of deer abundance on broad-leaf tree seedling establishment in the understory of Abies sachalinensis plantations

  • Nobuhiro Akashi
  • Akira Unno
  • Kazuhiko Terazawa
Original Article

Abstract

Browsing by sika deer (Cervus nippon) has significant negative effects on regeneration in many forests in Japan; however, the effects of browsing on regeneration processes have not been determined quantitatively. Our study was conducted in Abies sachalinensis plantations in seven tracts with differences in deer abundance on Hokkaido, northern Japan, to identify indicators for the effects of deer on the regeneration of broad-leaf species from observing seedlings. Five 5 × 20-m plots were located within each tract, and the densities of seedlings 30–200 cm tall and percentages of browsed seedlings were determined. We used sightings per unit effort (SPUE) by hunters and spotlight survey counts (SLCs) as indices of deer abundance for each tract. Seedling density was negatively correlated with deer abundance and coverage of dwarf bamboo, and basal areas of overstory trees also affected number of seedlings. Percentage of browsed seedlings was positively correlated with deer abundance, and it was affected by deer preferences among seedling species. However, the percentage of browsed seedlings was more clearly related to deer abundance than seedling density. There were few seedlings of tree species ≥100 cm tall in tracts with the highest deer abundance. Based on these results, deer abundances of SPUE >6 sightings per hunter-day or SLC >15 animals per 10 km are likely to prevent regeneration of broad-leaf species. The percentage of browsed seedlings and density and browsing damage on tree seedlings ≥100 cm tall are useful indicators of the effects of deer.

Keywords

Abies sachalinensis plantation Browsing Cervus nippon Deer abundance Seedling density 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was part of the “Development of regeneration technology for leading artificial coniferous forests to broadleaf forests” of the research and development projects for application in promoting new policy of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and “Development of assessment method on impacts by sika deer to natural vegetation for ecosystem management” supported by Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Environment Fund. We are grateful to the Hokkaido Institute of Environmental Science for providing SPUE data.

References

  1. Akashi N (2009a) Browsing damage by sika deer on trees in young plantations and its relation to relative deer density indices in Hokkaido, Japan. J Jpn For Soc 91:178–183 (in Japanese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Akashi N (2009b) Simulation of the effects of deer browsing on forest dynamics. Ecol Res 24:247–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Akashi N, Nakashizuka T (1999) Effects of bark-stripping by Sika deer (Cervus nippon) on population dynamics of a mixed forest in Japan. For Ecol Manag 113:75–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Akashi N, Terazawa K (2005) Bark stripping damage to conifer plantations in relation to the abundance of sika deer in Hokkaido, Japan. For Ecol Manag 208:77–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Côté SD, Rooney TP, Tremblay JP, Dussault C, Waller DM (2004) Ecological impacts of deer overabundance. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:113–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gill RMA (1992) A review of damage by mammals in north temperate forests: 3. Impact on trees and forests. Forestry 65:363–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gill RMA, Morgan G (2010) The effects of varying deer density on natural regeneration in woodlands in lowland Britain. Forestry 83:53–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hanada N, Shibuya M, Saito H, Takahashi K (2006) Regeneration process of broadleaved trees in planted Larix kaempferi forests. J Jpn For Soc 88:1–7 (in Japanese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hokkaido Institute of Environmental Sciences (1994) Distribution of sika deer and brown bear on Hokkaido. Hokkaido Institute of Environmental Sciences, Sapporo (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  10. Horsley SB, Stout SL, deCalesta DS (2003) White-tailed deer impact on the vegetation dynamics of a northern hardwood forest. Ecol Appl 13:98–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Itô H, Hino T (2004) Effects of deer, mice and dwarf bamboo on the emergence, survival and growth of Abies homolepis (Piceaceae) seedlings. Ecol Res 19:217–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kaji K, Miyaki M, Uno H (2006) Conservation and management of sika deer in Hokkaido. Hokkaido University Press, Sapporo (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  13. Kon H, Watanabe I, Yasaka M (2007) Effect of thinning on the natural regeneration of broad-leaved trees in Abies sachalinensis plantations. J Jpn For Soc 89:395–400 (in Japanese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Miyaki M, Kaji K (2009a) Shift to litterfall as year-round forage for sika deer after a population crash. In: McCullough DR, Takatsuki S, Kaji K (eds) Sika deer: biology and management of native and introduced populations. Springer, Tokyo, pp 171–180Google Scholar
  15. Miyaki M, Kaji K (2009b) The dynamics of forest stands affected by sika deer on Nakanoshima Island—change of size structure similar to the thinning effect. In: McCullough DR, Takatsuki S, Kaji K (eds) Sika deer: biology and management of native and introduced populations. Springer, Tokyo, pp 181–191Google Scholar
  16. Murata I, Saruki S, Kubota K, Inoue S, Tashiro N, Enoki T, Utsumi Y, Inoue S (2009) Effects of sika deer (Cervus nippon) and dwarf bamboo (Sasamorpha borealis) on seedling emergence and survival in cool-temperate mixed forests in the Kyushu Mountains. J For Res 14:296–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Nakashizuka T (1987) Regeneration dynamics of beech forests in Japan. Vegetatio 69:169–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nomiya H, Suzuki W, Kanazashi T, Shibata M, Tanaka H, Nakashizuka T (2002) The response of forest floor vegetation and tree regeneration to deer exclusion and disturbance in a riparian deciduous forest, central Japan. Plant Ecol 164:263–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nonoda S, Shibuya M, Saito H, Ishibashi S, Takahashi M (2008) Invasion and growth processed of natural broadleaved trees and influences of thinning on the processes in an Abies sachalinensis plantation. J Jpn For Soc 90:103–110 (in Japanese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. R Development Core Team (2010) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. http://www.R-project.org. ISBN 3-900051-07-0
  21. Saito S, Nagamatsu D, Sato T, Kominami Y (2005) Stand structure and species composition of trees that invaded plantations in area with high density of sika deer. Kyushu J For Res 58:166–168 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  22. Shimada H, Nonoda T (2009) Effects of deer browsing on broad-leaved tree invasion after heavy thinning in conifer plantations. J Jpn For Soc 91:46–50 (in Japanese with English abstract)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Shimoda K, Kimura K, Kanzaki M, Yoda K (1994) The regeneration of pioneer tree species under browsing pressure of Sika deer in an evergreen oak forest. Ecol Res 9:85–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Suzuki M, Miyashita T, Kabaya H, Ochiai K, Asada M, Tange T (2008) Deer density affects ground-layer vegetation differently in conifer plantations and hardwood forests on the Boso Peninsula, Japan. Ecol Res 23:151–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Takatsuki S (2009) Effects of sika deer on vegetation in Japan: a review. Biol Conserv 142:1922–1929CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Takatsuki S, Gorai T (1994) Effects of Sika deer on the regeneration of a Fagus crenata forest on Kinlazan island, northern Japan. Ecol Res 9:115–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Takatsuki S, Ito TY (2009) Plants and plant communities on Kinkazan Island, northern Japan, in relation to sika deer herbivory. In: McCullough DR, Takatsuki S, Kaji K (eds) Sika deer: biology and management of native and introduced populations. Springer, Tokyo, pp 125–143Google Scholar
  28. Tilghman NG (1989) Impacts of white-tailed deer on forest regeneration in North-western Pennsylvania. J Wildl Manag 53:524–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tremblay JP, Huot J, Potvin F (2007) Density-related effects of deer browsing on the regeneration dynamics of boreal forests. J Appl Ecol 44:552–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tsujino R, Yumoto T (2004) Effects of sika deer on tree seedlings in a warm temperate forest on Yakushima Island, Japan. Ecol Res 19:291–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Uno H, Kaji K, Saitoh T, Matsuda H, Hirakawa H, Yamamura K, Tamada K (2006) Evaluation of relative density indices for sika deer in eastern Hokkaido, Japan. Ecol Res 21:624–632CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Uno H, Kaji K, Tamada K (2009) Sika deer population irruptions and their management on Hokkaido Island, Japan. In: McCullough DR, Takatsuki S, Kaji K (eds) Sika deer: biology and management of native and introduced populations. Springer, Tokyo, pp 405–419Google Scholar
  33. Yamamura H, Matsuda H, Yokomizo H, Kaji K, Uno H, Tamada K, Kurumada T, Saitoh T, Hirakawa H (2008) Harvest-based Bayesian estimation of sika deer populations using state-space models. Popul Ecol 50:131–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Forest Society and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nobuhiro Akashi
    • 1
  • Akira Unno
    • 1
  • Kazuhiko Terazawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Forestry Research InstituteHokkaido Research OrganizationBibaiJapan

Personalised recommendations