Soil compaction associated with cut-to-length and whole-tree harvesting of a coniferous forest

Sang Kyun Han, Han Sup Han, Deborah S. Page-Dumroese, Leonard R. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations

Abstract

The degree and extent of soil compaction, which may reduce productivity of forest soils, is believed to vary by the type of harvesting system, and a field-based study was conducted to compare soil compaction from cut-to-length (CTL) and whole-tree (WT) harvesting operations. The CTL harvesting system used less area to transport logs to the landings than did the WT harvesting system (19%-20% vs. 24%-25%). At high soil moisture levels (25%-30%), both CTL and WT harvestings caused a significant increase of soil resistance to penetration (SRP) and bulk, density (BD) in the track compared with the undisturbed area (p < 0.05). In the center of trails, however, only WT harvesting resulted in a significant increase of SRP and BD compared with the undisturbed area (p < 0.05). Slash covered 69% of the forwarding trail area in the CTL harvesting units; 37% was covered by heavy slash (40 kg-m'"2) while 32% was covered by light slash (7.3 kg-m'"2). Heavy slash was more effective in reducing soil compaction in the CTL units (p < 0.05). Prediction models were developed that can be used, to estimate percent increases in SRP and. BD over undisturbed areas for both CTL and WT harvesting systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)976-989
Number of pages14
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Forestry
  • Ecology

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