Comparison of species abundance in fenced and non-fenced plots indicated a lower browsing-induced mortality for beech than for pedunculate oak and silver birch. Comparison of saplings classified as browsed or unbrowsed, showed that browsing reduced sapling size and changed above-ground biomass distribution (more branch biomass and less leaf biomass). Generally, the effects of browsing did not differ between saplings regenerated under a forest canopy and saplings regenerated in large gaps or in heathland and clearings. Differences in height and above-ground biomass between browsed and unbrowsed saplings were large for beech compared with silver birch and pedunculate oak. Differences in biomass distribution between browsed and unbrowsed saplings were small for pedunculate oak compared with the other two species.