University of Tasmania

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Repellent and stocking guards reduce mammal browsing in eucalypt plantations

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 11:05 authored by Alison MillerAlison Miller, Julianne O'Reilly-WapstraJulianne O'Reilly-Wapstra, Bradley PottsBradley Potts, McArthur, C
Mammalian herbivores regularly browse plantation seedlings. In many areas, seedlings require some form of protection if they are to survive and grow into a productive plantation. Two general approaches for reducing browsing damage to seedlings are to apply chemical repellents and tree guards. Both methods have existed for a long time, and new variations are constantly being developed. Seedling stocking guards, a type of tree guard, are being used operationally in Tasmania, Australia, but there is limited data quantifying their effectiveness and concerns with negative effects on tree performance. Conversely, although proven effective, repellents are not being used, but are potentially cheaper and less problematic. We therefore aimed to determine which is more effective under operational conditions, whether this effectiveness can be improved or extended, and if either treatment has any effects on seedling form or survival. We planted Eucalyptus nitens seedlings with combinations of repellent and stocking guards in six operational plantations to examine and compare their effectiveness. Seedlings were monitored for 12 months to examine treatment longevity. We found that both stocking guards and repellent significantly reduced and delayed browsing severity, with their effects being additive. No negative effects on growth were evident after 12 months, but adverse effects on seedling form warrant further investigation. Both of these methods can be easily and relatively cheaply applied in the nursery before planting, making them appealing options to reduce browsing. However, the ideal method for a given site will depend upon local browsing intensity.


Publication title

New Forests: Journal of Biology, Biotechnology, and Management of Afforestation and Reforestation








School of Natural Sciences


Kluwer Academic Publ

Place of publication

Van Godewijckstraat 30, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 3311 Gz

Rights statement

Copyright 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Hardwood plantations

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