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Influence of Mineral Nutrition on Susceptibility and Recovery of Planted Seedlings to Animal Browse
Elk
The regeneration phase in forest management is critical to ensuring that appropriate objectives related to ensuring species diversity, site productivity, and habitat conservation is met.  Animal browsing, mostly in the form of elk and deer have a severe impact on artificial reforestation success in the Oregon Coast Range, often resulting in reduced plantation establishment success.
 
This study is examining the use of fertilization to enhance nutrient reserves and facilitate rapid seedling growth, while simultaneously enhancing potential for recovery from animal browse.  Anecdotally, some evidence exists suggesting that seedlings with higher foliar nutrient contents are more likely to suffer browse damage.  Thus, it is important to examine animal browse damage response of different species to a range of fertilizer rates.  Little published research, however, has examined this response in common reforestation species of the Pacific Northwest.
 
The overall goal of this study is to determine which nutrient content levels (resulting from fertilization at planting) will result in the establishment of vigorous seedlings which are resilient to animal browse.  This will be accomplished for Douglas-fir, western hemlock, and western red-cedar planted onto a range of sites within the Tillamook district.  Seedlings in all treatments will be consistently monitored over a five-year period for growth, foliar nutrient contents, and susceptibility/recovery from animal browse.  We expect that this information will yield practical, useable scientific results regarding the efficacy of treatments that may help reduce damage and costs associated with animal browsing during the reforestation process.
 

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