Deer Browse Growth Reduced by Pine Overstory

Twig growth of young browse plants growing in the open was several times greater than that of plants beneath pine trees. The difference was most pronounced when plants were youngest. Most twig growth was within reach of deer (below 5 feet) until plants were 5 or 6 years old, but the proportion decreased with age for tall shrubs and small trees. Although twigs constitute only a small fraction of the browse consumed by deer (Harlow and Hooper 1972), twig length is a good indication oftotal browse yields (Schuster 1965). This paper presents data on the length of annual twig growth for young browse plants growing in the open and beneath a canopy of pine trees in east Texas.

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