Effects of game on the condition and development of natural regeneration in the Vrapač National Nature Reserve (Litovelské Pomoraví)

https://doi.org/10.17221/4515-JFSCitation:Čermák P., Mrkva R. (2006): Effects of game on the condition and development of natural regeneration in the Vrapač National Nature Reserve (Litovelské Pomoraví). J. For. Sci., 52: 329-336.
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In 2001–2005, the effects of game on the condition and development of natural regeneration of a floodplain forest were studied in three permanent transects in the Vrapač National Nature Reserve (NNR). Fraxinus excelsior, Acer pseudoplatanus, Acer campestre and Acer platanoides predominated in the regeneration. The species were markedly damaged by roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and fallow deer (Dama dama) browsing, the most affected being Acer pseudoplatanus. In spite of always newly occurring trees from self-seeding, the abundance of trees decreased during the studied period, self-seeding did not grow up from a height of 30–40 cm, the proportion of Acer pseudoplatanus decreased and that of Fraxinus excelsior increased. In addition to browsing, in 2003 and 2005 browsing damage to bark was noted in some places and in 2005 also the breaking of trees with subsequent browsing of terminal shoots, the causal agent of both types of damage being fallow deer. The development of natural regeneration is limited in principle by trophic preferences of game and by the tolerance of particular species to repeated damage. On the basis of these conditions it is necessary to consider the present game stock to be contradictory with objectives of area protection and preservation.
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