Long considered pests by forest managers, deer and elk can help Douglas-fir seedlings thrive under certain vegetation management conditions. These are the findings of a five-year study by Oregon State University, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.
The research published today is important because global demand for forest products continues to rise and because wildlife conservation is often viewed as a hurdle to meeting that demand. The findings quantified the effects of intensive forest management on wildlife and wildlife habitat.
OSU College of Forestry scientists found that deer and elk can play a key role in controlling the broadleaf vegetation, such as alder and maple, that compete with the “crop trees” – the Douglas-fir seedlings – in the replanted clear-cuts deer and elk heavily rely on for forage. MORE