Advertisement

European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 135, Issue 2, pp 331–342 | Cite as

Factors influencing vole bark damage intensity in managed mountain-forest plantations of Central Europe

  • Josef Suchomel
  • Luboš Purchart
  • Ladislav ČepelkaEmail author
  • Marta Heroldová
Original Paper

Abstract

We studied the impact of vole bark gnawing in forest plantations dominated by European beech in two Czech mountain ranges (the Hrubý Jeseník Mts, the Moravskoslezské Beskydy Mts) with different habitat conditions. Of the four present vole species, only the field vole caused significant damage, the impact of the bank vole being inconclusive. In both ranges, the key factor determining the presence and abundance of voles (Microtus sp.) was the occurrence of grasses. Saplings in the Hrubý Jeseník Mts suffered significantly higher damage than those in the Moravskoslezské Beskydy Mts (13.6 vs. 3.3 % damaged seedlings), with degree of damage closely related to the abundance and spatial distribution of voles. We relate it to lower carrying capacity caused by poor herb layer and higher proportion of spruce monocultures surrounding the plantations in the Hrubý Jeseník Mts. Our results indicate that artificial beech regeneration is more successful in mixed and spruce forests with rich undergrowth (the Moravskoslezské Beskydy Mts) than in large spruce stands with reduced herb undergrowth (the Hrubý Jeseník Mts).

Keywords

Bark gnawing Mountain forests Bank vole Field vole Fagus sylvatica 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the European Social Fund and the State Budget of the Czech Republic under the project ‘Indicators of Tree Vitality’—Reg. No. CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0265 and with support of RVO 68081766. The authors are very much obliged to Kevin Roche and Eva Čepelková for language correction and the anonymous reviewers for improving of the manuscript.

References

  1. Baxter R, Hansson L (2001) Bark consumption by small rodents in the northern and southern hemispheres. Mamm Rev 31:47–59. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2907.2001.00078.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bengtsson J, Nilsson SG, Franc A, Menozzi P (2000) Biodiversity, disturbances, ecosystem function and management of European forests. For Ecol Manag 132:39–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bergeron J (1996) The use of seedling bark by voles sustained by high proteinic content of food. Ann Zool Fennici 33:259–266Google Scholar
  4. Birney EC, Grant WE, Baird DD (1976) Importance of vegetative cover to cycles of Microtus populations. Ecology 57:1043–1051CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blanchet FG, Legendre P, Borcard D (2008) Forward selection of explanatory variables. Ecology 89:2623–2632CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Borowski Z (2007) Damage caused by rodents in polish forests*. Int J Pest Manag 53:303–310. doi: 10.1080/09670870701497253 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. CHKO Jeseníky (2015) http://jeseniky.ochranaprirody.cz/charakteristika-oblasti/. In: Charakt. Obl
  8. Culek M, Grulich V, Laštůvka Z, Divíšek J (2013) Biogeografické regiony České republiky/Biogeographic regions of The Czech Republic. MUNI Press, BrnoGoogle Scholar
  9. Davies RJ, Pepper HW (1989) The influence of small plastic guards, tree shelters and weed control on damage to young broadleaved trees by field voles (Microtus agrestis). J Environ Manag 28:117–125Google Scholar
  10. Decocq G, Aubert M, Dupont F et al (2005) Silviculture-driven vegetation change in a European temperate forest. Ann For Sci 62:313–323. doi: 10.1051/forest CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Drożdż A (1966) Food habits and food supply of rodents in the beech forest. Acta Theriol (Warsz) 11:363–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Durak T (2012) Changes in diversity of the mountain beech forest herb layer as a function of the forest management method. For Ecol Manag 276:154–164. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2012.03.027 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Flowerdew JR, Gurnell J, Gipps JHW (1985) The ecology of woodland rodents: bank voles and wood mice: the proceedings of a symposium held at the Zoological Society of London on 23rd and 24th of November 1984. In: The Ecology of woodland rodents: bank voles and wood mice: the proceedings of a symposium held at the Zoological Society of London on 23rd and 24th of November 1984. Oxford University Press, London, p 418Google Scholar
  14. Gilbert S, Martel J, Klemola T, Norrdahl K (2013a) Increasing vole numbers cause more lethal damage to saplings in tree monocultures than in mixed stands. Basic Appl Ecol 14:12–19. doi: 10.1016/j.baae.2012.11.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gilbert S, Norrdahl K, Martel J, Klemola T (2013b) Vole damage to woody plants reflects cumulative rather than peak herbivory pressure. Ann Zool Fennici 50:189–199. doi: 10.5735/085.050.0402 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gill RMA (1992) A review of damage by mammals in North temperate forests. 3. Deer. Forestry 65:145–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Government decree of The Czech Republic No. 83/1996 M of A (1996) Vyhláška Ministerstva zemědělství o zpracování oblastních plánů rozvoje lesů a o vymezení hospodářských souborů (in Czech)Google Scholar
  18. Hansson L (1986) Bark consumption of voles in relation to snow cover, population density and grazing impact. Ecography (Cop) 4:312–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hansson L (1991) Bark consumption by voles in relation to mineral contents. J Chem Ecol 17:735–743CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Hansson L (1992) Vole densities and consumption of bark in relation to soil type and bark mineral content. Scand J For Res 7:229–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hansson L (2002) Consumption of bark and seeds by voles in relation to habitat and landscape structure. Scand J For Res 17:28–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hansson L, Henttonen H (1985) Gradients in density variations of small rodents: the importance of latitude and snow cover. Oecologia 67:394–402. doi: 10.1007/BF00384946 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hansson L, Zejda J (1977) Plant damage by bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus Schreber) and related species in Europe. EPPO Bull 7:223–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Heroldova M, Suchomel J, Purchart L et al (2007) Small forest rodents—an important factor in the regeneration of forest stands. Beskydy 1:217–220Google Scholar
  25. Heroldova M, Janova E, Suchomel J et al (2009) Bark chemical analysis explains selective bark damage by rodents. Beskydy 2:137–140Google Scholar
  26. Heroldova M, Bryja J, Janova E et al (2012) Rodent damage to natural and replanted mountain forest regeneration. Sci World J 2012:1–6. doi: 10.1100/2012/872536 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hilton GM, Packham JR (1997) A sixteen-year record of regional and temporal variation in the fruiting of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in England (1980–1995). Forestry 70:7–16. doi: 10.1093/forestry/70.1.7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Homolka M, Heroldova M, Kamler J (2011) Plant biomass and prediction of debarking caused by rodents in artificial regeneration of forest stands. In: 8th European vertebrate pest management conference, pp 99–100Google Scholar
  29. Huitu O, Kiljunen N, Korpimäki E et al (2009) Density-dependent vole damage in silviculture and associated economic losses at a nationwide scale. For Ecol Manag 258:1219–1224. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2009.06.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Huitu O, Rousi M, Henttonen H (2013) Integration of vole management in boreal silvicultural practices. Pest Manag Sci 69:355–361. doi: 10.1002/ps.3264 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Korslund L, Steen H (2006) Small rodent winter survival: snow conditions limit access to food resources. J Anim Ecol 75:156–166. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2005.01031.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Lepš J, Šmilauer P (2003) Multivariate analysis of ecological data using CANOCO. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  33. Lyly M, Klemola T, Koivisto E et al (2014) Varying impacts of cervid, hare and vole browsing on growth and survival of boreal tree seedlings. Oecologia 174:271–281. doi: 10.1007/s00442-013-2761-1 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Moran MD (2003) Arguments for rejecting the sequentional bonferroni in ecological studies. Oikos 100:403–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nakagawa S (2004) A farewell to Bonferroni: the problems of low statistical power and publication bias. Behav Ecol 15:1044–1045. doi: 10.1093/beheco/arh107 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nesvadbová J, Gaisler J (2000) Communities of terrestrial small mammals in two mountain ecosystems influenced by air pollution. Folia Zool 49:295–304Google Scholar
  37. Niemeyer H, Haase R (2002) The fate of young beech with their stem girth completely debarked by common vole in an afforstation in eastern Holstein. Forst und Holz 57:342–346Google Scholar
  38. Scheller RM, Mladenoff DJ (2002) Understory species patterns and diversity in old- growth and managed northern hardwood forests. Ecol Appl 12:1329–1343. doi: 10.2307/3099975 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. StatSoft I (2012) StatSoft. http://www.statsoft.com/textbook/. In: Electron. Stat. Textb
  40. Suchomel J, Čepelka L, Purchart L (2012a) Relationship between rodent density, environmental factors and tree damage caused by rodent species. J For Sci 2012:545–552Google Scholar
  41. Suchomel J, Čepelka L, Purchart L (2012b) Small mammals at forest plantations in the Jeseníky Mts (Czech Republic). Acta Univ Agric Silvic Mendelianae Brun 60:211–218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Suchomel J, Purchart L, Heroldova M et al (2012c) Vole damage to planted tree regeneration conditioned by some environmental factors. Austrian J For Sci 129:56–65Google Scholar
  43. Suchomel J, Purchart L, Čepelka L, Heroldova M (2014) Structure and diversity of small mammal communities of mountain forests in Western Carpathians. Eur J For Res 133:481–490. doi: 10.1007/s10342-013-0778-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sullivan TP, Sullivan DS (2008) Vole-feeding damage and forest plantation protection: large-scale application of diversionary food to reduce damage to newly planted trees. Crop Prot 27:775–784. doi: 10.1016/j.cropro.2007.11.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tast J, Kalela O (1971) Comparisons between rodent cycles and plant production in Finnish Lapland. Ann Acad Sci Fenn B 186:1–14Google Scholar
  46. ter Braak CJF, Šmilauer P (2002) CANOCO reference manual and CanoDraw for Windows user’s guide: software for canonical community ordination (version 4.5). Microcomputer Power, Ithaca, NYGoogle Scholar
  47. Vintonn MA, Burke IC (1995) Interactions between individual plant species and soil nutrient status in shortgrass steppe. Ecology 76:1116–1133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Virjamo V, Julkunen-Tiitto R, Henttonen H et al (2013) Differences in vole preference, secondary chemistry and nutrient levels between naturally regenerated and planted Norway spruce seedlings. J Chem Ecol 39:1322–1334. doi: 10.1007/s10886-013-0352-6 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Vooková B (1985) Caloric values of some woody plant species of forest ecosystems of the Malé Karpaty Mountains. Ekológia Bratislava 4:33–42Google Scholar
  50. Zejda J (1981) The small mammal community of a spruce monoculture. Acta Sci Nat Brno 15:1–31Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josef Suchomel
    • 1
  • Luboš Purchart
    • 2
  • Ladislav Čepelka
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marta Heroldová
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Fisheries, Hydrobiology and ApicultureMendel University in BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Forest EcologyMendel University in BrnoBrnoCzech Republic

Personalised recommendations