Quantifying Harvesting Impacts using Soil Compaction and Disturbance Regimes at a Landscape Scale
- R. Block,
- K. C. J. Van Rees * and
- D. J. Pennock
Several indicators have been identified for the conservation and maintenance of soil criterion in the Montreal Protocol. The objective of this study was to use soil compaction and disturbance measures to determine harvesting impacts at a landscape scale in the boreal forest of Saskatchewan. Forest harvesting impacts were studied pre and postharvest for five harvested sites by (i) sampling soil bulk density (D b) at prescribed grid-points, and (ii) measuring soil disturbance regimes on two 30-m transects at each grid-point. Mean soil D b in the harvested area increased significantly (8–11%) from pre to postharvest conditions for the two winter-harvested sites at both the 10- and 20-cm depths, while two of the three summer harvested sites also showed significant D b increases (7–15%) at the 10-cm depth. Combining all five sites, showed that after harvest 32% of all the grid-points had an increased D b of >15%. Mean soil D b at a 10-cm depth for roadways and landings was significantly higher (8–14%) than postharvest D b for postharvest levels at four of the five harvested sites. Surface soil disturbance regimes were higher for the summer-harvested sites than that for the winter-harvested sites. Landscape position showed no significant differences in D b between the shoulder, backslope, and footslope positions; however, within each landscape position, significant differences in D b were found between pre and postharvest conditions. Soil D b and soil disturbance regimes measured on a grid basis provided a simple, but reliable method for monitoring soil compaction and disturbance effects from harvesting at a landscape scale.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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