iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


The impact of seed predation and browsing on natural sessile oak regeneration under different light conditions in an over-aged coppice stand

Jirí Kamler (1)   , Lumír Dobrovolný (2), Jakub Drimaj (1), Jan Kadavý (3), Michal Kneifl (3), Zdenek Adamec (3), Robert Knott (2), Antonín Martiník (2), Radim Plhal (1), Jaroslav Zeman (1), Jan Hrbek (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 4, Pages 569-576 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1835-009
Published: Apr 04, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: IUFRO division 8.02 - Mendel University Brno (Czech Republic) 2015
Coppice forests: past, present and future
Guest Editors: Tomas Vrska, Renzo Motta, Alex Mosseler

Sessile oak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.) is one of the most important commercial species cultivated at low altitudes in the Czech Republic, and over-aged coppices are a significant part of oak stands in the region. In order to secure a high-valuable timber production (e.g., through conversion of such stands into coppices-with-standards), knowledge of the potential and limits of generative regeneration is essential. This study was conducted in three oak-dominated over-aged coppice stands in different stages of conversion into coppices-with-standards and characterized by different basal area (BA, from 9.3 to 14.1 m2 ha-1) and relative diffuse radiation (ISF, from 12.1 to 35.5%). The study stands were compared with respect to seed predation following acorn fall and oak regeneration parameters. At the time of their fall the acorns represented a sought-after source of food for large mammals (particularly wild boar). At the end of acorn fall, 13-67% acorns were lost due to animal predation. A control evaluation conducted the following spring revealed a decrease of 92-97% in fallen acorns. Despite the major animal impact, a high reserve of acorns and saplings remained in the stands (4 600-29 000 acorns and 66 000-310 000 saplings per ha). With increasing light intensity the oak regeneration density decreased, while the height and age variability of oak regeneration increased. Although saplings were capable of surviving several years under unfavorable light conditions (even below 12% ISF), they require a minimum of 20% ISF (i.e., BA < 16 m2 ha-1) to achieve sustainable height increment. Based on our results, for conversion of such stands into coppices-with-standards we recommend a maximum of 200 reserved trees (BA = 16 m2 ha-1) to achieve successful height growth of the understorey.


Over-aged Coppice, Quercus petraea, Natural Regeneration, Herbivore Impact, Acorn, Light Intensity, Wild Boar

Authors’ address

Jirí Kamler
Jakub Drimaj
Radim Plhal
Jaroslav Zeman
Jan Hrbek
Department of Forest Protection and Wildlife Management, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelská 3, 613 00 Brno (Czech Republic)
Lumír Dobrovolný
Robert Knott
Antonín Martiník
Department of Silviculture, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelská 3, 613 00 Brno (Czech Republic)
Jan Kadavý
Michal Kneifl
Zdenek Adamec
Department of Forest Management and Applied Geoinformatics, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelská 3, 613 00 Brno (Czech Republic)

Corresponding author

Jirí Kamler


Kamler J, Dobrovolný L, Drimaj J, Kadavý J, Kneifl M, Adamec Z, Knott R, Martiník A, Plhal R, Zeman J, Hrbek J (2016). The impact of seed predation and browsing on natural sessile oak regeneration under different light conditions in an over-aged coppice stand. iForest 9: 569-576. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1835-009

Academic Editor

Tomas Vrska

Paper history

Received: Aug 31, 2015
Accepted: Feb 24, 2016

First online: Apr 04, 2016
Publication Date: Aug 09, 2016
Publication Time: 1.33 months

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