About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 108529, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/108529
Research Article

Silvicultural Attempts to Induce Browse Resistance in Conifer Seedlings

1United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, CO, USA
2Monell Chemical Senses Center, 3500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
3Starker Forests, Inc., 7240 SW Philomath Boulevard, Corvallis, OR 97339, USA
4United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center, 4101 LaPorte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521, USA
5British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Range, Research, Innovation and Knowledge Management Branch, Cowichan Lake Research Station, P.O. Box 335, 7060 Forestry Road, Mesachie Lake, BC, Canada V0R 2N0

Received 31 December 2010; Revised 28 February 2011; Accepted 15 April 2011

Academic Editor: Michael Tausz

Copyright © 2011 Bruce A. Kimball et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A multiyear study was conducted to determine if soil amendment combined with topical application of elemental sulfur could be employed to reduce deer browse damage to four conifer species. Fertilizer and sulfur were applied to conifer seedlings at seven sites near Corvallis, OR. Growth and browse damage data were collected for all seedlings over a period of 17 months. Additionally, foliar concentrations of monoterpenes and simple carbohydrates were assessed in western redcedar (Thuja plicata) seedlings over a period of three years. Fertilization and sulfur treatments had a moderate impact on growth and no influence on browse damage or the chemical responses. Over the course of the study, browse damage diminished while foliar monoterpene concentrations increased in redcedar. It appears that silvicultural manipulation via sulfur application and/or soil amendment cannot accelerate or alter the ontogenetical changes that may naturally defend seedlings against mammalian herbivores. In a brief trial with captive deer, redcedar browse resistance was influenced by seedling maturation, but not monoterpene content. Other maturation effects may yield significant browse protection to young seedlings.