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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Effects of Forest Clearcutting in New England on Stream Chemistry1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 13 No. 2, p. 204-210
    Received: Mar 7, 1983

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  1. C. Wayne Martin,
  2. Diane S. Noel and
  3. C. Anthony Federer2



Differences in stream chemistry between recently clearcut and nearby uncut watersheds were generally small in a wide variety of soil and forest types throughout New England. Water samples were collected during six periods of the year in 1978 and 1979 from 6 entirely clearcut, 32 partially clearcut, and 18 uncut watersheds. The largest differences that could be attributed to harvesting occurred in entirely clearcut watersheds, especially in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In one area of the White Mountains, inorganic N was 4 times higher (2 mg/L), and Ca was 2 times higher (4 mg/L) in streams from a clearcut watershed than in a nearby uncut watershed. Elsewhere, only minor changes in stream chemistry resulted from cutting; the amount of the cutting response was of the same magnitude as natural variations among streams draining similar watersheds. Clearcutting less than entire watersheds, patch and strip cuts, and buffer strips along streams all appear to reduce the magnitude of changes in stream chemistry.

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