Soil Bulk Density and Porosity Changes due to Ground-based Timber Extraction in the Hyrcanian Forest
Assessment and management of environmental impacts of forest harvesting activities, one of the main reasons is that its importance is increasing day by day. Skidding operations could lead to an increase in detrimental soil disturbance and soil surface compaction that reduced forest soil fertilities. The aim of this study was to investigate and quantify of forest soil compaction following the skidding operations with wheeled cable skidder. This study was carried out in compartment no. 311 and 319 in Gorazbon district in Kheyrud forest in Hyrcanian forest. This study was conducted in a completely randomized factorial design and changes in soil bulk density and porosity with the skidder traffic intensity such as low intensity (less than 3 passes), moderate (3 to 7 passes) and very large (more than 7 passes) and two depths of 0-10 and 10-20 cm of soil were measured. The results showed that with the increase of machine traffic, soil bulk density was increased but the largest percentage increase was observed in initial passes (less than 3 times). Soil bulk density at the depth 0-10 and 10-20 cm, was more than the control area by 21.2 and 6.5 percent, respectively. Soil porosity percentage at wheel rut was decreased comparing to the control area and this reduction in the 0-10 cm depth was greater than 10-20 cm soil depth. The most of the porosity reduction were occurred in the low intensity traffic and increase in skidder traffic has shown less effect on reducing soil porosity.
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