Oak (Quercus L.) is an abundant and widely distributed genus in eastern North America. A history of periodic fire, grazing, canopy disturbance and timber harvesting has favored oak's dominance. But, changes in this regime toward much less fire or complete fire suppression, and selective cutting are causing the successional replacement of oak. High populations of forest herbivores such as white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), invasive species such as gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), or dominance of native flora such as mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) can also inhibit oak regeneration and add to its loss within a region.
Dey, Daniel C.; Royo, Alejandro A.; Brose, Patrick H.; Hutchinson, Todd F.; Spetich, Martin A.; Stoleson, Scott H. 2010. An ecologically based approach to oak silviculture: a synthesis of 50 years of oak ecosystem research in North America. Revista Columbia Forestal. 13(2): 201-222.