The Dynamics of Forest Stands Affected by Sika Deer on Nakanoshima Island—Change of Size Structure Similar to the Thinning Effect
The influences of sika deer damage on forest dynamics after 1984 were monitored inside and outside exclosures for 16 years on Nakanoshima Island, Toya Lake, Hokkaido, Japan. The occurrences of bark-stripping were restricted to a few species and happened mostly in the early 1980s. Because the trees killed by bark-stripping were scattered throughout the stand, large gaps were not formed. In deer exclosures, seedlings ≤10 cm decreased after about 10 years following gap formation because of canopy closing. We analyzed the effect of deer on forest stands using yield-density diagrams. The decrease of tree density by deer damage accelerated the growth of remaining trees, having an effect similar to artificial thinning. It is important to set up specific goals of forest structure for sustainable forest management in sika deer habitat.
KeywordsPhotosynthetically Active Radiation Forest Floor Forest Structure Sika Deer Deer Population
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