Effects of Ungulate Browsing on Forest Regeneration and Silviculture
Special implications for palatable tree species such as Abies alba
IUFRO International Symposium
Birmensdorf (Zürich), Switzerland 14 - 16 October 2015
Ungulate browsing is one of the many factors that affect tree establishment, growth and mortality and thus both structure and species composition of forests. Tree saplings are part of the usual food of ungulate species and palatable tree species, like Abies alba (European silver fir), are often browsed by ungulates. At the same time, natural regeneration of a mixture of species is valued in mountain protection forests to mitigate damages of snow avalanches, rockfall, mass flow and wind storms. Thereby, species with deep rooting systems (like Abies alba and Acer pseudoplatanus) are particularly important.
Measuring and monitoring the effects of ungulates on forest regeneration pose however major challenges because leader shoot browsing rate linearly correlates neither with tree density nor with species composition. The conference intends to present the current state of knowledge on ungulate impacts on tree regeneration and their implications for forest stand dynamics. We specifically focus on sustainable natural tree regeneration under current and predicted future climate.
The main goal of the conference is to summarize the state of knowledge on tree - ungulate interactions, with a particular emphasis on
A further goal is to discuss the difficulties of managing forests that simultaneously face climate change, increasing impacts of ungulates and cascading effects of carnivores and human hunting on forest regeneration.