New Forests

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 1–14 | Cite as

Biotic injuries on conifer seedlings planted in forest understory environments

  • Thomas J. Brandeis
  • Michael Newton
  • Elizabeth C. Cole
Article

Abstract

We investigated how partial overstory retention, understory vegetationmanagement, and protective Vexar® tubing affected the frequency andseverityof biotic injuries in a two-storied stand underplanted with western redcedar(Thuja plicata Donn ex D. Don), Douglas-fir(Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco, grand fir(Abies grandis (Dougl.) Lindl), and western hemlock(Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.). The most prevalentsource of damage was browsing by black-tailed deer (Odocoileushemionis columbiana); deer browsed over 74% of Douglas-fir and over36% of western redcedar seedlings one or more times over the four years of thisstudy. Neither the spatial pattern of thinning (even or uneven) nor the densityof residual overstory affected browsing frequency. Spraying subplots may haveslightly increased browsing frequency, but the resulting reduction of theadjacent understory vegetation increased the volume of all seedlings by 13%,whether or not they were browsed. Vexar® tubing did not substantiallyaffectseedling survival, browsing damage frequency, or fourth-year volume. Greaterlevels of overstory retention reduced frequency of second flushing. Chafing bydeer and girdling by rodents and other small mammals began once seedlingssurpassed 1 m in height. Essentially all grand fir seedlingsexhibited a foliar fungus infection.

Animal damage Thinning Underplanting Understory Vexar® tubing 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas J. Brandeis
    • 1
  • Michael Newton
    • 1
  • Elizabeth C. Cole
    • 1
  1. 1.International Institute of Tropical ForestryUSDA Forest ServiceSan JuanPuerto Rico

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