Wild boar rooting in a northern coniferous forest - minor silviculture impact
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionScandinavian Journal of Forest Research. 2014, 29 (1), 90-95. 10.1080/02827581.2013.865781
European wild boar (Sus scrofa) is expanding northwards beyond its preferred habitat of broadleaved forests. We studied wild boar habitat use in a northern coniferous forest, and noted whether their rooting damaged roots, thereby influencing timber quality and forest regeneration (n = 562 rootings). Overall, the animals selected older spruce (Picea abies L.) forest of higher soil fertility with sparse field vegetation for rooting. During winter, they rooted more in pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forest on lower soil fertility, possibly because the lichen cover can easily be removed even on frozen ground. Average size and depth of rootings were 6 ± 0.6 m2 and 10 ± 0.2 cm, respectively. Rooting occurred on <1% of the area and caused negligible damage to roots of trees with commercial value. Because the wild boar mainly rooted in older forest, rootings will do little to improve germination of seeds by scarification of the top soil layer.