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The Diet and Impact of the Irish Hare ( Lepus timidus hibernicus , Bell 1837) in A Young Plantation

The Diet and Impact of the Irish Hare ( Lepus timidus hibernicus , Bell 1837) in A Young Plantation Damage to young trees in a new plantation caused by the browsing activities of Irish hares, Lepus timidus hibernicus , commenced within one month of the completion of planting. The browsing was most intense in spring and early summer. Removal of the apical shoot was the most common form of damage, leading to the formation of multiple leaders but rarely to the death of the tree. Broadleaved species, particularly oak, and to a lesser extent, beech were most susceptible to browsing. Damage to conifers was negligible, with the exception of larch. Although the impact was high in localised areas within the plantation, overall damage was much lower. L. timidus is considered a browser in more northerly parts of its range. However, despite the evidence of browsing of saplings in this study, dietary analysis showed grasses to be the primary food throughout the year. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Royal Irish Academy

The Diet and Impact of the Irish Hare ( Lepus timidus hibernicus , Bell 1837) in A Young Plantation

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Publisher
Royal Irish Academy
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 RIA
ISSN
0791-7945
eISSN
2009-003X
DOI
10.3318/BIOE.2004.104.2.89
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Damage to young trees in a new plantation caused by the browsing activities of Irish hares, Lepus timidus hibernicus , commenced within one month of the completion of planting. The browsing was most intense in spring and early summer. Removal of the apical shoot was the most common form of damage, leading to the formation of multiple leaders but rarely to the death of the tree. Broadleaved species, particularly oak, and to a lesser extent, beech were most susceptible to browsing. Damage to conifers was negligible, with the exception of larch. Although the impact was high in localised areas within the plantation, overall damage was much lower. L. timidus is considered a browser in more northerly parts of its range. However, despite the evidence of browsing of saplings in this study, dietary analysis showed grasses to be the primary food throughout the year.

Journal

Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish AcademyRoyal Irish Academy

Published: May 1, 2004

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