Pearce, John. 1935. The Influence of browsing by white-tailed deer on western Adirondack forests. M.S. Thesis, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, 106 pp.

Abstract: Consequent to their acceptance of wildlife management as a part of their responsibilities, foresters are faced with the necessity of a more complete understanding of forest fauna. Silviculturists and forest managers both are badly in need of quantitative studies concerning the effects of wildlife upon forest cover. Lacking such knowledge as these investigations provide, game management can not be made compatible with other forest uses.

The present study considers the effects of an important forest animal, the white-tailed deer, which because of its feeding habits and general interest to the public at large, is of prime consequence to foresters. It further considers the species in a region of normal population for deer in the northern forest. The extensive over-browsing of large areas, as in parts of Pennsylvania or the Kaibab Plateau, is not found in the north where deep snows which often restrict the deer to limited browse, tend to keep the herds in check. However, the northern forest is none the less subject to influence from deer browsing, as this study shows.

The primary specific purpose of the study is to determine some of the effects of deer browsing on stand composition. Minor purposes are to throw light on the species preferred by deer in the region, and to arrive at facts concerning the relative ability of the various shrub and tree species to withstand browsing injury.

Original data presented are based largely upon a quantitative field survey using sample plots. Observations of a fragmentary nature obtained during the whole period spent in the field, and occasionally those from previous years, supplement plot information. It was found that a surprising number of hidden factors influence the matter of deer browsing.