Growth and survival of Scots pine saplings under controlled grazing in forest plantation areas of the high altitude rangelands
This study was carried out to determine the effects of controlled cattle grazing in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) plantation
that in the edge of forest areas because animal husbandry has a significant role and forage gap is a main problem in the area. For this purpose, the study was carried out in a Scots pine plantation with an average of 2,160 m altitude in the forest edge rangeland area between 2012 and 2015. The study area was divided into 12 plots in total, with each plot 0.2 ha in size. The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design with three replications in a split plot arrangement keeping Scots pine sapling height (0–60 cm, 61–90 cm and > 90 cm) and four grazing treatments (Ungrazed, grazed in June, grazed in July, grazed in August). The relative diameter and height increments were determined along with the survival percentages for the saplings. According to the results; overall, less than 1% of saplings were found to be damaged as a result of the treatments. In all the grazing plots, the Scots pine saplings had more diameter and height increment than the ungrazed plots on average. In conclusion, controlled cattle grazing in July and August can provide both good quality forage for regional livestock and positive contributions to the growth of saplings, provided that saplings have more than 60 cm in height.
Keywords: Scots pine, plantation, sapling, growing, forest, grazing