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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Forest Ecology and Management, 01 January 2016, Vol.359, pp.74-82
    Description: Harvesting and logging with heavy forest machines cause soil damage that may restrict forest soil functions. Although the recovery ability of compacted forest soils depends on the soil properties, little is known about the long-term structure recovery of different soils following forest operations. The aim of our study was to evaluate the soil structure recovery of three different soil types. Therefore, we applied a space-for-time substitution approach (10, 20, 30 and 40 years after the last machine impact) to study selected sites in Lower Saxony, Germany, using the following as proxies: bulk density, carbon dioxide (CO ) concentration in soil gas, and the relative apparent gas diffusion coefficient ( / ). At sites with high biological activity and high clay content (Cambisols on limestone), recovery occurred 10–20 years after last traffic impact. At these sites, 10 years after the last traffic impact, gas diffusivity at the wheel track was half of the gas diffusivity of the undisturbed soil, and soil gas CO concentrations were significantly higher at the wheel tracks. At the 20-, 30-, and 40-year-old skid trails, there were no significant differences between the untrafficked reference and the soil frequented by vehicles. Regardless of the kind of traffic impact (wheel track, mid line, side strip or undisturbed reference soil), all investigated parameters indicated that soil structure becomes more favourable with increasing time since the last forest interference. In contrast, loamy sandy soils (Podzols on glacial drift and sand) showed low recovery ability. Forty years after the last machine impact, gas diffusivity was still significantly reduced at the wheel track. Cambisols at loess-covered sandstone showed neither strong impact of forest traffic on soil structure nor changes in soil structure 20–40 years after last traffic impact. In general, bulk density turned out not to be a sufficient proxy for soil structure recovery.
    Keywords: Soil Gas Diffusivity ; Soil Carbon Dioxide ; Soil Compaction ; Soil Structure Recovery ; Forestry ; Biology
    ISSN: 0378-1127
    E-ISSN: 1872-7042
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Forest Ecology and Management, 15 November 2015, Vol.356, pp.136-143
    Description: Phosphorus is an essential yet scarce macronutrient, and as such forest nutrition often relies on cycling of P between biomass and soils through litterfall and roots. For technical and soil protection reasons, modern harvesting systems create thick brash mats on skid trails by depositing residues, thus concentrating P there. What portion of this redistributed P is immobilized, lost, or recycled could be significant to forest nutrition and management. However, open questions exist regarding the quantity and fate of P deposited on skid trials. The aim of this study was to determine how much P is redistributed to skid trails and what happens to that P. We modeled the amount of P deposited on a skid trail during a whole-tree thinning of an Mill. stand, and quantified P stocks in the forest floor and mineral soil five years after the operation. An estimated 60% of harvested P from the encatchment was deposited on the skid trail. Five years after the harvest, forest floor P stocks in the skid trail dropped from an extrapolated 8.9 to 4.4 g m . The difference of 4.5 g m of P was not evident in mineral soil stocks, and loss through runoff or leaching would be minimal. With the greatest concentration of roots in the forest floor on the middle of the skid trail, mineralization and uptake of the missing P was the most likely explanation. This suggests that accumulated P on skid trails can be recycled through uptake by trees. Further testing in other stands and on which vegetation takes up accumulated P is still needed.
    Keywords: Nutrient Cycling ; Plant Uptake ; Whole-Tree Harvesting ; Brash Mats ; Allometric Modeling ; Forestry ; Biology
    ISSN: 0378-1127
    E-ISSN: 1872-7042
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Forest Ecology and Management, 01 December 2017, Vol.405, pp.200-209
    Description: Deadwood plays a crucial role in forest ecosystems, yet its impact on soil properties and specifically soil organic matter (SOM) stabilization is hitherto not fully understood or studied. We hypothesized that downed deadwood would enhance the light, labile SOM fraction in forest topsoils, and that those changes would be enhanced by advanced decay and higher rates of soil bioturbation that would move deadwood fragments into mineral soil. To test our hypotheses, we took topsoil samples directly next to European beech ( L.) downed deadwood and samples from paired reference points at eight stands in Southwest Germany. From those samples we separated SOM into three density fractions linked to physical and chemical SOM stabilization processes: the free light fraction, the aggregate-occluded light fraction and the mineral-adsorbed heavy fraction. On silicate bedrock, deadwood increased the free light fraction by 57% ( mg g ) compared to reference points. In contrast on calcareous bedrock, deadwood decreased the free light fraction by 23% ( mg g ) compared to reference points. Deadwood with advanced decay from all sites increased the aggregate-occluded light fraction by 40% ( mg g ) as well as total soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks by 24% ( mg cm ) as compared to reference points. In summary, the light fraction of SOM was affected by deadwood depending on site conditions and the more stable, aggregate-occluded fraction eventually increased near decayed deadwood through interactions between stimulated biological activity and both particulate and dissolved organic matter. Altogether these results indicate that deadwood increases SOC stocks at sites where SOM decomposition is slow enough to enable occlusion of particulate organic matter within aggregates.
    Keywords: Coarse Woody Debris ; Forest Management ; Som Stability ; Soil Aggregate ; Density Fractionation ; Forestry ; Biology
    ISSN: 0378-1127
    E-ISSN: 1872-7042
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