Navigation Links
Decreasing deer damage
Date:5/4/2009

LINCOLN, NEThe nontimber forest products industry has been growing rapidly since the mid-1980s, contributing billions of dollars to the U.S. economy annually. Examples of nontimber forest products (NTFP) include edibles such as fruits and nuts, medicinal and herbal products, and specialty floral and decorative products. Standouts in the NTFP industry include U.S.-grown herbs used to satisfy increasing consumer demand for herbal medications. American ginseng, for example, accounted for $32 million in U.S. export revenue to Asia during 1996. The emerging economic industry has its share of challenges, including the impact of wildlife that naturally inhabit forests where NTFPs grow. Of particular concern are white-tailed deer, which can reduce the quality, quantity, and profitability of NTFPs by "browsing" twigs and rubbing the stems of shrubs, trees, and plants.

When deer browse, or nibble on buds, twig-ends, and leaves of woody plants, shrubs and trees can be deformed, stunted, or, in the case of young plants, eaten completely. Deer browse year-round, but are most destructive during the winter when alternative foods are less available. Male white-tailed deer also rub the stems of trees and shrubs during autumn to remove velvet from their antlers and to communicate with other deer. Deer rubbing reduces the plants' health and can kill vulnerable trees and shrubs.

The financial impacts of deer browsing and rubbing on NTFPs, particularly woody ornamental plants, can be considerable. Heavily browsed tips or rubbed stems are not marketable, and thus are a direct loss to the grower. Losses of trees and shrubs due to deer damage can amount to over $2030/acre per year depending on the species.

To reduce damage and lessen economic losses, producers often turn to lethal and nonlethal techniques to control deer. Hunting is not always supported by the public, and may only be applicable in rural areas. Nonlethal techniques can be difficult to apply, expensive to implement, and are often temporary solutions; fences, repellents, and frightening devices provide varying degrees of success in reducing crop damage.

Researchers attempting to provide alternative solutions to deer damage to NTFPs are working to identify species of trees and shrubs that are not as attractive or even avoided by deer. Scott E. Hygnstrom from the University of Nebraska and research colleagues from New Mexico State University and the USDA National Wildlife Research Center published a study in the American Society for Horticultural Science journal HortTechnology that evaluated deer damage to 26 species of trees and shrubs.

"Our objectives were to determine the varying levels of deer damage sustained by 26 species of trees and shrubs; to relate morphological features of trees and shrubs to damage levels; and to evaluate the economic impacts of deer damage on the production of nontimber forest products", explained Hygnstrom.

The study was conducted at the University of Nebraska Agricultural Research and Development Center. The area included eight species of trees and 18 species of shrubs that produced commercially valuable nontimber forest products. The 40-acre complex was occupied by about 48 white-tailed deer per square mile during the study.

The team measured the frequency and intensity of browsing and rubbing by deer on various species of trees and shrubs after 1 year of growth. To assess the financial impacts of deer damage, the scientists recorded numbers of stems rendered unmarketable by deer browsing or rubbing while harvesting and processing selected woody florals in February and December 2001. The results showed that pussy willow suffered the least economic impact of deer browsing and rubbing; less than 1% of the total number of stems produced were rejected for market. High levels of damage were documented for 'Blood-twig' dogwood (more than 21% of the stems were rejected). Losses per year due to combined damage by browsing and rubbing amounted to about $26/acre for pussy willow, $2031/acre for 'Blood-twig' dogwood, and $1595/acre for curly willow.

The research also revealed that leaving some NTFPs (especially dogwood) in the field until late winter considerably increases the percentage of stems rendered unmarketable due to deer browsing. Harvesting these products in late fall and early winter can substantially reduce the percentage of stems damaged by deer.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study shows mercury levels from products decreasing, though still at dangerous levels
2. Pesticide concentrations decreasing
3. Decreasing insulin resistance prevents obesity-related cardiovascular damage
4. Human derived stem cells can repair rat hearts damaged by heart attack
5. Enzyme alerts cells powerful army to repair DNA damage
6. Simulation reveals how body repairs balance after damage
7. Mixing large doses of both acetaminophen painkiller and caffeine may increase risk of liver damage
8. MIT: Human-generated ozone will damage crops
9. Coral reefs will be permanently damaged without urgent action
10. Even minute levels of lead cause brain damage in children
11. Cigarette smoke, alcohol damage hearts worse as combo
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/19/2016)... , España y TORONTO , 19 de diciembre ... Northern Biologics Inc. que permitirá el desarrollo acelerado de MSC-1, un ... en varios tipos de tumor en 2017, con múltiples sitios previstos ... ... clase con objetivo en el factor inhibidor de leucemia (LIF), una ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... and BADEN-BADEN, Germany , December 15, ... global financial services provider, today announced an agreement with NuData ... biometrics, to join forces. The partnership will enable clients to ... in compliance with local data protection regulation. ... In order to provide ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... 2016  There is much more to innovative access ... engine. Continental will demonstrate the intelligence of today,s solutions ... . Through the combination of the keyless entry and ... elements, the international technology company is opening up new ... "The integration of biometric elements brings our ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 19, ... ... of advanced software solutions for pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), today announced ... in omic data analysis and interpretation for the rapidly evolving field of ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... GAITHERSBURG, Md. , Jan. 19, ... Altimmune, Inc., a privately-held immunotherapeutics company targeting infectious ... agreement for the merger of PharmAthene and Altimmune ... Novartis Venture Fund, HealthCap, Truffle Capital and Redmont ... and diversified immunotherapeutics company with four clinical stage ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 19, 2017 AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. (AIM: ABTU; ... in aquaculture and a majority-owned subsidiary of Intrexon Corporation ... completed the listing of its common shares on the ... Intrexon. "AquaBounty,s listing on NASDAQ represents an ... exposure to the U.S. markets as we advance plans ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... innovators, engineers, and scientists from around the world, was today awarded the "Best ... program is based entirely on merit and decided upon by a dedicated team ...
Breaking Biology Technology: