Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Animal damage, vegetative competition and growth of western hemlock seedlings in the Coast Range of Oregon Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/jw827f409

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  • The growth of western hemlock during the first four years of seedling establishment was examined in a competitive environment in which seedlings were exposed to various types of animal damage and salmonberry and/or alder competition. The study utilized an existing Nelder/replacement series experiment which focused on the competitive effects among western hemlock, red alder, and salmonberry. Vegetative competition was evaluated in terms of overtopping and encroaching cover within a one meter radius of each seedling. Animal damage observed in the study included browsing, (feeding injury of deer and elk), racking (antler rubbing from deer and elk), clipping and girdling (feeding injury from rabbits and hares.) Hemlock growth in terms of total height, height growth , and total volume, was compared between damaged and undamaged seedlings through multiple regression analysis. Sites used in this study were located in the central Coast Range of Oregon on three separate clearcut units. Growth reductions for hemlock seedlings were mainly due to vegetative competition. The best predictors of hemlock growth were overtopping by salmonberry and overtopping by alder. Hemlock seedlings experienced greater growth reductions due to vegetative competition than from the presence of animal damage. This held true for all animal damage, except clipping by lagomorphs. The clipped seedlings showed significant reductions in growth due to the clipping damage. Results suggest the importance of managing competing vegetation to reduce conifer losses and minimize dense shrub habitat which foster rabbit and hare populations.
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