iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Large-scale spatial distribution of deer browsing damage to young tree plantations

Kei K Suzuki (1)   , Yasufumi Watanabe (2), Takuya Kubota (2), Yasumitsu Kuwano (3), Yohei Kawauchi (4-5), Hiromi Yamagawa (1), Masatoshi Yasuda (1), Hiroshi Kondoh (1), Haruto Nomiya (1), Teruki Oka (6)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 14, Issue 1, Pages 34-40 (2021)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3387-013
Published: Jan 14, 2021 - Copyright © 2021 SISEF

Research Articles

The economic loss caused by herbivore browsing in forest plantations is a concerning problem in many areas around the world. Information on the spatial distribution of browsing damage is important for forest owners when selecting locations for new plantations, because planting trees in areas of high browsing pressure increases economic losses. Although it is difficult to survey browsing damage across large areas, sporadic sampling data on browsing damage are often collected by foresters, governments, and researchers. Thus, in this study, we applied a generalized additive model (GAM) for analysis of sporadic data to reveal large-scale spatial variation in deer (Cervus nippon) browsing damage. A map of browsing pressure produced by a GAM that used years after planting (plantation age) and location as independent factors showed a few areas of high browsing pressure. In addition, browsing damage increased with increasing plantation age, and plantation stands aged 2+ years showed more browsing damage. Areas with high browsing damage estimated based on plantation stands aged 2+ years generally coincided with areas of high deer abundance, with some exceptions. Thus, this model reflects large-scale browsing damage relatively well and will help forest owners to avoid locating new plantations in areas of high browsing pressure.


Cervus nippon, Deer Browsing Damage, Forest Management, Generalized Additive Model, Plantation

Authors’ address

Kei K Suzuki 0000-0003-0709-6706
Hiromi Yamagawa
Masatoshi Yasuda
Hiroshi Kondoh 0000-0001-6128-8421
Haruto Nomiya 0000-0002-8361-7879
Kyushu Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Kumamoto 860-0862 (Japan)
Yasufumi Watanabe
Takuya Kubota
Forest Management Center, Kawasaki 212-0013 (Japan)
Yasumitsu Kuwano
Institute of Agricultural and Forest Resources, Fukuoka Agriculture and Forestry Research Center, Fukuoka 839-0827 (Japan)
Yohei Kawauchi
Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, Nagasaki 851-2213 (Japan)
Yohei Kawauchi
Present address: Socio-Ecological Systems Division, Fisheries Stock Assessment Center, Fisheries Resources Institute, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, Yokohama 236-8648 (Japan)
Teruki Oka
Department of Wildlife Biology, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Tsukuba, 305-8687 (Japan)

Corresponding author



Suzuki KK, Watanabe Y, Kubota T, Kuwano Y, Kawauchi Y, Yamagawa H, Yasuda M, Kondoh H, Nomiya H, Oka T (2021). Large-scale spatial distribution of deer browsing damage to young tree plantations. iForest 14: 34-40. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3387-013

Academic Editor

Giorgio Alberti

Paper history

Received: Feb 27, 2020
Accepted: Nov 12, 2020

First online: Jan 14, 2021
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2021
Publication Time: 2.10 months

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