Deer can damage regenerating beech forest. In the browsed forest (top) all undergrowth – beech seedlings, ferns and shrubs – have been eaten. In the unbrowsed forest (bottom) thousands of seedlings are thriving. For many decades New Zealand forest understoreys were so heavily browsed that they had become open areas. Deer numbers had declined by the 2000s, and some forests were beginning to regenerate.
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