Potential Use of Quadrivalent Selenium as a Systemic Deer-Browsing Repellent: A Cautionary Note

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This study evaluates the potential usefulness and toxicity of applying quadrivalent selenium (selenite ion) to the soil to discourage white-tailed deer from browsing conifer seedlings. After absorption by the root system and internal transport, organoselenium compounds are volatilized by the foliage, and the characteristic garlic odor is hypothesized to protect coniferous tree seedlings from browsing damage. Results indicate that either 5, 17, or 24 months after treatment, selenized white spruce seedlings did not show significantly different deer-browsing damage from control seedlings when deer numbers were high. Five and seventeen months after treatment, selenium had not leached but had accumulated in the top soil. Large-scale application of selenium may represent a potential environmental risk, hence we do not recommend use of selenite ion to prevent damage from deer-browsing of white spruce seedlings. North. J. Appl. For. 11(2):63-64.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: ministère des Resources Naturelles du Québec, Direction de la recherche, 2700, rue Einstein, Sainte-Foy (Québec), Canada G1P 3W8

Publication date: June 1, 1994

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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