Marozas, V., Pėtelis, K., Brazaitis G. and Baranauskaitė, J. 2009. Early Changes of Ground Vegetation in Fallow Deer Enclosure.  Baltic Forestry, 15(2): 268-272 (Brief Report)

The aim of the study was to examine the influence of enclosed fallow deer on forest vegetation, undergrowth, herb cover and mosses. Investigations were carried out in fallow-deer enclosure at Anyksciai State Forest Enterprise of Mikieriai forest district in north eastern part of Lithuania. Three permanent sample plots were set up in the enclosure. An area of each sample plot was 100 m2. Each sample plot was divided into 25 record subplots (2x2 sq.m area). In 2005 and 2007 in these subplots undergrowth trees, shrubs were counted, species composition and percentage projection cover for each species of dwarf shrubs, herbaceous plants and mosses were also determined. We used non-parametric Wilcoxon signed-rank test to compare vegetation projection cover and amount of saplings and shrubs in 2005 and 2007. Results showed that average projection cover of undergrowth trees, shrubs, herbs and dwarf shrubs decreased. Average projection cover of Calamagrostis arundinacea, Carex digitata, Deschampsia cespitosa, Fragaria vesca, Luzula pilosa, Maianthemum bifolium, Mycelis muralis, Oxalis acetosella, Rubus idaeus and Vaccinium myrtillus decreased. Average projection cover of mosses increased near the feeder, while it remained unchanged further from the feeder. During 3 year period of fallow deer settlement the impact of fallow deer in enclosure was strongest on undergrowth trees and shrubs, slightly less impact was on herbaceous cover and the least impact was observed on mosses.

Key words: herbs, projection cover, undergrowth, ungulatea