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Pilot Study of the Impact of Arvicolinae on European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) Plantations in the Jeseníky Mts. (Czech Republic)

Author(s): Josef Suchomel | Ladislav Čepelka | Luboš Purchart

Journal: Časopis Beskydy
ISSN 1803-2451

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 127;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: field vole | bank vole | Arvicolinae | European beech | artificial plantations | bark gnawin

The impact of vole (Arvicolinae) on artificial regeneration of the common beech in the Jeseníky Mts. was studied. Damage to 18 selected plantations fluctuated from 1.5 to 33 % (mean value 13.6 %). Sites with north-western exposure were most sensitive to damage. Increase in damage positively correlated with increase in vole populations. The extent of damage decreased with increasing altitude. This was related to a similar decrease in abundance of genus Microtus whose impact proved to be decisive (89%). The decrease in abundance was explained by a significant negative correlation between grass cover and growing altitude. A reverse trend was manifested in bank vole (Myodes glareolus) whose abundance increased with altitude due to increasing cover of dicotyledonous plants. However, owing to its lower impact (10% proportion on impact), its overall impact was marginal. Only damage on saplings, which was located higher than 20 cm on stem, correlates positively with this species abundance. Relation between the age of planted saplings and gnawing intensity was not verified.
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