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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
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Acta Forestalia Fennica
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Articles containing the keyword 'soil disturbance'.

Category: Research article

article id 2018, category Research article
Sima Mohtashami, Lars Eliasson, Gunnar Jansson, Johan Sonesson. (2017). Influence of soil type, cartographic depth-to-water, road reinforcement and traffic intensity on rut formation in logging operations: a survey study in Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 5 article id 2018. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.2018
Highlights: Soil type and traffic intensity had significant effects on rut formation; Further studies are required to identify all factors affecting rut formation, especially on soils with medium bearing capacity; The cartographic depth-to-water index (DTW) alone did not predict rut formation, but used in combination with other information, e.g. soil type, could be an interesting tool for delineating soil areas that are potentially vulnerable to rut formation in logging operations.

Rut formation caused by logging operations has been recognised as a challenge for Swedish forestry. Frequent traffic with heavy machines on extraction roads, together with a warmer climate, is one of the factors that increases the risk of rut formation in forests. One possible way to control this impact of logging operations is to design and apply decision support tools that enable operators to take sensitive areas into account when planning extraction roads. In this study, 16 different logging sites in south-eastern Sweden were surveyed after clear-cut. Information was collected about extraction roads (i.e. traffic intensity, whether the roads had been reinforced with slash) and ruts. Digital maps such as cartographic depth-to-water (DTW) index and soil type were also examined for any connection to rut positions. Soil type and traffic intensity were found to be significant factors in rut formation, while DTW and slash reinforcement were not. However, the DTW map combined with other information, such as soil type, could contribute to decision support tools that improve planning of extraction roads.

  • Mohtashami, The forestry research institute of Sweden, Skogforsk, Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: sima.mohtashami@skogforsk.se (email)
  • Eliasson, The forestry research institute of Sweden, Skogforsk, Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2038-9864 E-mail: lars.eliasson@skogforsk.se
  • Jansson, The forestry research institute of Sweden, Skogforsk, Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3018-9161 E-mail: gunnar.jansson@skogforsk.se
  • Sonesson, The forestry research institute of Sweden, Skogforsk, Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2018-7496 E-mail: johan.sonesson@skogforsk.se
article id 1403, category Research article
Kristina Mjöfors, Monika Strömgren, Hans-Örjan Nohrstedt, Annemieke Ingrid Gärdenäs. (2015). Impact of site-preparation on soil-surface CO2 fluxes and litter decomposition in a clear-cut in Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 49 no. 5 article id 1403. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1403
Highlights: Disturbances of the soil did not lead to higher CO2 emissions from the soil; Heavy mixing of the soil lead to lower CO2 emissions from the soil; Buried needles and coarse roots decomposed faster than those on the surface; Abundance of δ15N decreased in needles and roots after site preparation.

Boreal forest soil contains significant amounts of organic carbon. Soil disturbance, caused for example by site preparation or stump extraction, may increase decomposition and thus lead to higher CO2 emissions, contributing to global warming. The aim of this study was to quantify responses of soil-surface CO2 fluxes (Rs) and litter (needle and root) decomposition rates following various kinds of soil disturbance commonly caused by mechanical site preparation and stump harvest. For this purpose four treatments were applied in a clear-cut site in central Sweden: i) removal of the humus layer and top 2 cm of mineral soil, ii) placement of a humus layer and 2 cm of mineral soil upside down on top of undisturbed soil, forming a double humus layer buried under mineral soil, iii) heavy mixing of the humus layer and mineral soil, and iv) no disturbance (control). Rs measurements were acquired with a portable respiration system during two growing seasons. To assess the treatments’ effects on litter decomposition rates, needles or coarse roots (Ø = 6 mm) were incubated in litterbags at positions they would be located after the treatments (buried, or on top of the soil). The results indicate that site preparation-simulating treatments have no effect or may significantly reduce, rather than increase, CO2 emissions during the following two years. They also show that buried litter decomposes more rapidly than litter on the surface, but in other respects the treatments have little effect on litter decomposition rates.

  • Mjöfors, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Department of Soil and Environment, P.O. Box 7014, 150 07 Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: kristina.mjofors@slu.se (email)
  • Strömgren, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Department of Soil and Environment, P.O. Box 7014, 150 07 Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: Monika.stromgren@slu.se
  • Nohrstedt, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Department of Soil and Environment, P.O. Box 7014, 150 07 Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: Hans-orjan.nohrstedt@slu.se
  • Gärdenäs, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Department of Soil and Environment, P.O. Box 7014, 150 07 Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: Annemieke.gardenas@slu.se
article id 908, category Research article
Sattar Ezzati, Akbar Najafi, M. A. Rab, Eric K. Zenner. (2012). Recovery of soil bulk density, porosity and rutting from ground skidding over a 20-year period after timber harvesting in Iran. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 4 article id 908. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.908
Ground-based skidding can have detrimental effects on soil properties trough soil profile disturbance and compaction that can persist for decades. We investigated the recovery of physical properties of disturbed brown soils on four abandoned downhill skid trails in a deciduous mountain forest in northern Iran. The most recent skidding operations had taken place 1–5 yrs, 6–10 yrs, 11–15 yrs, and 16–20 yrs ago, providing a 20-year chronosequence with four 5-year recovery periods. For each recovery period, mean values for soil bulk density (BD), total porosity (TP), macroporosity (MP), soil moisture content (SM), and rut depth (RD) were assessed for three levels of traffic intensity (Primary (PS), Secondary (SS) and Tertiary (TS) skid trails) and two levels of slope gradients (Gentle (G) and Steep (S)) and compared to those in undisturbed (control) areas. Over the 20-year recovery period, PS trails on gentle slopes exhibited mean values that were 35–42% (BD), 3–7% (SM), and 13–19 cm (RD) greater and 18–24% (TP) and 19–28% (MP) lower compared to undisturbed areas; on steep PS trails, values were 40–46% (BD), 2–13% (SM), and 13–21 cm (RD) greater and 23–27% (TP) and 28–35% (MP) lower, respectively. While RD and SM recovered, 20 years was not long enough for the other physical soil properties, particularly on steep slopes. To minimize soil disturbance, skidding should be confined to areas with gentle slopes and alternative harvesting methods such as cable yarding should be used where slope gradients exceed 20%.
  • Ezzati, Department of Forestry and Forest Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, P.O. Box 64414-356, Iran ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Najafi, Department of Forestry and Forest Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, P. Box 64414-356, Iran ORCID ID:E-mail: a.najafi@modares.ac.ir (email)
  • Rab, Soil Physics Future Farming Systems Research Division, Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Zenner, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA ORCID ID:E-mail: eric.zenner@psu.edu
article id 66, category Research article
Monika Strömgren, Kristina Mjöfors, Björn Holmström, Achim Grelle. (2012). Soil CO2 flux during the first years after stump harvesting in two Swedish forests. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 1 article id 66. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.66
One way of increasing the supply of renewable energy, thereby decreasing the use of fossil fuels, is to extract the stumps that remain after final stem harvesting. However, little is known about the environmental consequences of stump harvesting, and how ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, are affected by the practice. In the present paper, the effects on the soil carbon pool during the first months and years after stump harvesting in former Norway spruce stands are presented. The study was performed at two sites in mid- and southern Sweden. At both sites, the soil CO2 flux was measured on several occasions with a portable respiration system, to compare plots on which stump harvesting had occurred, with reference plots. At one of the sites, CO2 exchange was also followed continuously by means of eddy-covariance measurements before and after stump harvesting. Since there was no vegetation at the beginning of the study, almost all emitted CO2 could be assumed to come from heterotrophic sources, and the soil CO2 flux was measured. This study shows that the effect of stump harvesting on CO2 flux or soil decomposition processes is small or absent compared to site preparation such as mounding in a short-term perspective of months and years. The long-term consequences of stump harvesting are, however, still uncertain.
  • Strömgren, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment, Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: monika.stromgren@slu.se (email)
  • Mjöfors, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment, Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Holmström, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment, Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Grelle, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology, Uppsala, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 122, category Research article
Benoit Lafleur, Nicole J. Fenton, David Paré, Martin Simard, Yves Bergeron. (2010). Contrasting effects of season and method of harvest on soil properties and the growth of black spruce regeneration in the boreal forested peatlands of eastern Canada. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 5 article id 122. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.122
It has been suggested that without sufficient soil disturbance, harvest in boreal forested peatlands may accelerate paludification and reduce forest productivity. The objectives of this study were to compare the effects of harvest methods (clearcutting vs. careful logging) and season (summer vs. winter harvest) on black spruce regeneration and growth in boreal forested peatlands of eastern Canada, and to identify the soil variables that favour tree growth following harvest. Moreover, we sought to determine how stand growth following harvest compared with that observed following fire. The average tree height of summer clearcuts was greater than that of summer carefully logged stands and that of all winter harvested sites. Summer clearcutting also resulted in a higher density of trees > 3 m and > 4 m tall and in a 50% reduction in Rhododendron groenlandicum cover, a species associated with reduced black spruce growth. Height growth of sample trees was related to foliar N and P concentrations, and to soil total N, pH and available Ca and Mg but not to harvest method or season. Our results also indicate that summer clearcutting could produce stand productivity levels comparable to those observed after high-severity soil burns. These results suggest that summer clearcutting could be used to restore forest productivity following harvest in forested peatlands, and offer further support to the idea that sufficient levels of soil disturbance may be required to restore productivity in ecosystems undergoing paludification.
  • Lafleur, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail: benoit.lafleur@uqat.ca (email)
  • Fenton, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Paré, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, 1055 du P.E.P.S., P.O. Box 10380, Stn. Sainte-Foy, QC G1V 4C7, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Simard, Département de Géographie, Université Laval, Pavillon Abitibi-Price, 2405 rue de la Terrasse, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Bergeron, NSERC-UQAT-UQAM Industrial Chair in Sustainable Forest Management, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 445 boul. de l’Université, Rouyn-Noranda, QC J9X 5E4, Canada ORCID ID:E-mail:

Category: Research note

article id 1661, category Research note
Āris Jansons, Linda Robalte, Roberts Čakšs, Roberts Matisons. (2016). Long-term effect of whole tree biomass harvesting on ground cover vegetation in a dry Scots pine stand. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 5 article id 1661. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1661
Highlights: After 47 years, whole tree harvesting (WTH) increased richness of ground cover species compared to conventionally managed stands; Higher occurrence of the oligotrophic species after WTH suggested reduction of soil nutrient content, hence formation of different plant community; WTH, apparently, facilitated recovery of species typical for later successional stages.

Long-term (47 years) effect of experimental whole tree harvesting (WTH) with a heavy soil scarification on ground cover vegetation was assessed in a dry nutrient-poor Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand in Latvia. Neighbouring conventionally managed young (10 years) and mature (119 years) stands of the same type were used for comparison. Higher species richness was observed in the WTH stand compared to conventionally managed young and mature stands (24, 18 and 16 species, respectively), likely due to the profound disturbance. The Shannon diversity index was higher in the young than in the WTH and mature stands (2.36, 1.77 and 1.63, respectively); still, the composition and structure of ground cover vegetation in WTH was more similar to the mature stand. Nevertheless, the occurrence of oligotrophic species in the WTH stand suggested decreased soil nutrient content and potential development of different plant community. Hence, such method might be considered for restoration of oligotrophic stands. Nevertheless, the period of 47 years appeared sufficient for the ground cover vegetation to recover after the WTH.

  • Jansons, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas Str., LV 2169, Salaspils, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: aris.jansons@silava.lv
  • Robalte, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas Str., LV 2169, Salaspils, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: robalte.l@gmail.com (email)
  • Čakšs, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas Str., LV 2169, Salaspils, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: chakijs95@gmail.com
  • Matisons, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava”, 111 Rigas Str., LV 2169, Salaspils, Latvia ORCID ID:E-mail: roberts.matisons@silava.lv

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