TITLE

Impatto degli ungulati selvatici sui boschi cedui della Val di Bisenzio (Prato)

AUTHOR(S)
Bianchi, Livio; Bartoli, Luca; Paci, Marco; Pozzi, David
PUB. DATE
May 2014
SOURCE
Forest@ - Journal of Silviculture & Forest Ecology;2014, Vol. 11 Issue 3, pe1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Similar to other Apennine areas, a considerable increase of wild ungulate density has been observed in the past decades in the Bisenzio valley (province of Prato), leading to a strong impact on coppice regeneration. In some felling areas, the prolonged browsing on young suckers turned the stumps into low and dense bushes, thus threatening the survival of the forest stand and triggering a loss of environmental stability. The aim of this work was to study the impact of deer on sprout regeneration after cutting in mixed coppices felled in the period 2007-2010 and characterized by the dominance of chestnut, hornbeam, Turkey oak, and beech. Some 36 plots were established in four municipal districts of the Prato province (Cantagallo, Vernio, Montemurlo, Vaiano). Damage and browsing intensity on each stump were evaluated using an index that allowed the comparison among different areas and fores stand types. Regardless of the species, over 90% of the sprouts revealed a very strong damage, whereas only 6% did not exhibit any damage. A significant difference in the sprout height was detected between browsed and non-browsed areas. Despite a high incidence of damage in all the studied areas, chestnut showed a greater resilience against browsing. In summary, overgrazing by wild game may determine severe contraints to the evolutionary dynamics of forest stands, frustrating the effects of silvicultural practices. The possible benefits of the implementation of a large-scale integrated wildlife plan, including hunting and forest-evironmental management are discussed.
ACCESSION #
96695170

 

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