Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications

RMRS Online Publication - Journal Articles, External Publications, and Special Reports
Do changes in soil properties after rooting by wild boars (Sus scrofa) affect understory vegetation in Swiss hardwood forests?


Wirthner, Sven; Schutz, Martin; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Busse, Matt D.; Kirchner, James W.; Risch, Anita C. 2012. Do changes in soil properties after rooting by wild boars (Sus scrofa) affect understory vegetation in Swiss hardwood forests? Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 42: 585-592.

doi: 10.1139/X2012-013

Recovering from small fragmented populations, wild boars (Sus scrofa L.) have considerably increased their numbers and their habitat range in many European countries during the past two decades. Although several studies have focused on the impact of wild boar rooting on selected vegetation properties, little is known about effects on entire forest ecosystems. The main goal of our study was to assess how rooting by boars alters soil and vegetation properties. We measured soil chemical and biological properties (C and N concentrations, N availability, and microbial biomass C) as well as several vegetation characteristics (total plant cover, plant species diversity, and number and height of saplings) on paired rooted and non-rooted plots in six hardwood forests in Switzerland. We found that rooting by wild boars led to significant increases in mineral soil C and N concentrations and microbial biomass C, which could lead to improved growth conditions for plants. However, total plant cover and sapling counts were reduced on rooted plots, possibly due to mechanical disturbance or due to reduced plant available N (measured as supply rate in contrast with the observed increase in total stocks of mineral soil N). In view of these results, simple characterizations of wild boar rooting as beneficial or detrimental to forest ecosystems should be handled with care.

Keywords: wild boars, Sus scrofa, hardwood forests, mineral soil, microbial biomass


About PDFs: For best results, do not open the PDF in your Web browser. Right-click on the PDF link to download the PDF file directly to your computer. Click here for more PDF help.


Download Article
http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2012_wirthner_s001.pdf

PDF File Size: 240 K


Title: RMRS Other Publications: Do changes in soil properties after rooting by wild boars (Sus scrofa) affect understory vegetation in Swiss hardwood forests?
Electronic Publish Date: May 29, 2012
Last Update:
May 29, 2012

RMRS Publications | Order a publication | Contact Us