Current issue: 54(3)
The strength of soil is known to be dependent on water content but the relationship is strongly affected by the type of soil. Accurate moisture content – soil strength models will provide forest managers with the improved ability to reduce soil disturbances and increase annual forest machine utilization rates. The aim of this study was to examine soil strength and how it is connected to the physical properties of fine-grained forest soils; and develop models that could be applied in practical forestry to make predictions on rutting induced by forest machines. Field studies were conducted on two separate forests in Southern Finland. The data consisted of parallel measurements of dry soil bulk density (BD), volumetric water content (VWC) and penetration resistance (PR). The model performance was logical, and the results were in harmony with earlier findings. The accuracy of the models created was tested with independent data. The models may be regarded rather trustworthy, since no significant bias was found. Mean absolute error of roughly 20% was found which may be regarded as acceptable taken into account the character of the penetrometer tool. The models can be linked with mobility models predicting either risks of rutting, compaction or rolling resistance.
Physical soil properties have a marked influence on the quality of forest sites and on the preconditions for forest growth and management. In this study, water retention characteristics (WRC) and related physical soil properties in addition to vegetation coverage and tree stand data were studied at upland forest sites in Finland. Fixed and mixed models between soil and site characteristics were formed to estimate physical and hydrologic soil characteristics and the site quality with indirect co-varying variables. In the present data, the site quality index (H100) shows a high coefficient of determination in respect to the temperature sum. It is also related to soil fine fraction content, topsoil pH and water retention at field capacity. The thickness of the humus layer is predictable from the pH and cover of xeric and mesic plant species. The soil fine fraction content (clay + silt) is closely related to water retention at field capacity, the soil layer and site type, and without WRC to the temperature sum and site index and type, as well as the slope angle. The soil bulk density is related to organic matter, depth (layer) or alternatively to organic matter, slope and field estimated textural class (fine, medium, coarse). Water retention characteristics were found to be best determinable by the fine fraction content, depth and bulk density. Water content and air-filled porosity at field capacity are closely related to the fine fraction. This study provides novel models for further investigations that aim at improved prediction models for forest growth, hydrology and trafficability.
Relationships between bulk density and organic matter (OM) content, textural properties and depth are described for forested mineral soils from Central and Northern Finland. Core samples were taken of 0–5, 30–35 and 60–65 cm layers at 75 plots. Three measures of bulk density were calculated: the bulk density of the < 20 mm fraction (BD20), the bulk density of the < 2 mm fraction (BD2), and laboratory bulk density (BDl). BDl was determined from the mass of a fixed volume of < 2 mm soil taken in the laboratory. All three measures of bulk densities were strongly correlated with organic matter content (r ≥ -0.63). Depth and gravel (2–20 mm) content (in the case of BD2) were also important variables. BDl was sensitive to clay contents > 7% but did significantly improve the prediction of both BD2 and BD20 in coarse soils (clay contents ≤ 7%). Predictive models were derived for coarse soils.
Gravimetrically expressed nutrient concentrations of soil analysis were converted to volumetric values using dry bulk densities measured in the natural state and in the laboratory after air-drying and sieving the samples. The aim was to examine, using volumetric samples representing different soil classes, exactly how the converted nutrient values calculated by this laboratory method describe volumetric nutrient contents in undisturbed soil. In the fine soil classes undisturbed bulk density was higher than laboratory bulk density and converted nutrient concentrations were too small. In coarser soil classes the reverse was true, and the values were too high.
The PDF includes an abstract in English.
The study discusses the amount of shrinkage of volumetric undisturbed peat samples when drying to an oven-dry (105°C) condition. The amount of shrinkage is related to various physical properties of peat. In addition, some observations were performed on the shrinkage phenomenon during the drying process. The study results may be used when predicting the shrinkage of peat samples with various peat properties. Knowledge of this kind is particularly important in connection with peat harvesting.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.