Faculty Research & Creative Activity

Document Type


Publication Date

April 2002


Forest edges are known to affect plant community composition and habitat use by animals. However, the direct influence of edges in determining patterns of tree regeneration is poorly understood. Survival of and herbivore damage to Quercus ruln-a seedlings were experimentally determined for seedlings planted across a forest--old-field edge gradient. Seedling survival was lowest inside the forest ( 1%), intermediate at the edge (25%) and highest within the old-field portion of the gradient (49%). Deer herbivory decreased with increasing distance into the old field. Seedling survival increased under Rosa multiflora and decreased in plots with mammalian herbivory. Seedling height was significantly affected by distance from the edge but was unaffected by mammalian herbivory. Based on our results, herbivore effects on Quercus ruln-a growth and survivorship appear secondary to influences of distance from the forest edge.