& Key message Small-scale forest interventions (< 0.75 ha) promoted advanced regeneration and woody plant beta- diversity without increasing ungulate habitat use and detrimental browsing damage. Rubbing damage by ungulates was higher in the treated areas and no effect was found on woody plant alpha-diversity. & Context Adapted silviculture is needed to promote forest persistence and plant diversity in the current context of wild ungulate overabundance. & Aims This study examines the ungulate effects on tree recruitment and woody plant diversity after silviculture treatments (small-scale regeneration fellings on Pinus species). & Methods We compared tree recruitment, browsing/rubbing damage, and woody plant diversity on 17 pairs of control/treated areas in an ungulate-dominated Pinus halepensis forest. & Results Recruitment levels were significantly higher in the treated areas as compared to intact (control) plots only for large saplings and juveniles (> 130-cm high). Ungulates did not use the treated areas more often than the control plots but caused significantly greater rubbing damage in the treated areas. Silvicultural treatments did not have a significant effect on alpha woody plant diversity but did promote beta-diversity, with a 49.7% woody species turnover. We did not find any clear patterns indicating that the treated areas suffered
Annals of Forest Science – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 13, 2018
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