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Forskningsartikel - Refereegranskat, 2010

Effects of granivorous rodents on direct seeding of oak and beech in relation to site preparation and sowing date

Birkedal, Maria; Löf, Magnus; Olsson, Gert; Bergsten, Urban


Planting bare-rooted seedlings is a rather expensive method to regenerate oak (Quercus robur) and beech (Fagus sylvatica). Direct seeding could reduce artificial regeneration costs substantially, but the method currently suffers from a number of problems, one of which is seed consumption by rodents. In the present study clear-cut areas in southern Sweden were prepared using one of four different mechanical site preparation methods - disc trenching, patch scarification, topsoil removal or mounding - - then manually sown with acorns and beech nuts. Acorns were sown in May and July 2006, and both acorns and beech nuts were sown in May 2007. Three years following sowing, best seedling establishment from viable acorns, 60-70%, was achieved after sowing in mounds in May, and the subsequent survival reached 90-100%. After the first growing season for beech, both seedling establishment and subsequent survival was lower than for oak, which coincides with a higher number of lost beech nuts at the excavation to investigate the fate of seeds. Granivorous rodents (Apodemus flavicollis, A. sylvaticus, Mus musculus, and Myodes glareolus) were live-trapped more frequently in the vicinity of slash piles compared to other micro-site features, such as uprooted stumps, snags and stones. In 2006, no connection was found between number of rodents captured and proportion of lost seeds, while in 2007 the two were in good accordance. No clear relationship was found between number of captured rodents, vegetation cover class and mechanical site preparation method. More rodents were captured in 2007 than in 2006, and there was an increase in captures from spring until late summer/autumn for both years, which was mirrored in the seedling establishment result from the three different times of sowing. Based on experiences from the present study the recommendation for successful direct seeding of oak on clear-cuts is a combination of mounding site preparation, removal of slash and sowing in May rather than July. However, the results indicate that successful direct seeding of beech is more difficult to achieve. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Granivorous rodents; Reforestation; Regeneration; Seed removal; Site preparation

Publicerad i

Forest Ecology and Management
2010, Volym: 259, nummer: 12, sidor: 2382-2389