by Staff Writers
Columbia MO (SPX) Aug 19, 2016
Soil water infiltration, or the ability of soil to absorb water and allow it to move through different soil layers, is an important environmental factor in forests, especially forests undergoing logging operations. This property can affect how quickly those forests can regenerate after being logged.
Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that logging operations can negatively affect soil density and water infiltration within forests, particularly along makeshift logging roads and landing areas where logs are stored before being trucked to sawmills. Stephen Anderson, the William A. Albrecht Distinguished Professor of Soil Science at Mizzou, says changing the soil density and water infiltration within forests can cause many different problems.
"We found that along these logging roads and landing areas, the soil was more dense and compact with slower water infiltration than in the surrounding, untouched areas of the forest," Anderson said.
"This can cause many environmental challenges in forests because dense soil prevents rainwater from soaking in; rather, this water will run off and cause erosion. This erosion can carry fertile topsoil away from forests, which enters streams and makes it difficult for those forests being logged to regenerate with new growth as well as polluting surface water resources."
For their study, Anderson and his former graduate student, Langston Simmons, took soil core samples up to 40 centimeters deep from logging roads, log landing areas and logged areas in portions of the Mark Twain National Forest in Callaway County, Missouri.
They found that the soil from logging roads and landing areas was more dense, had much slower water infiltration and lower water retention capacity than the areas of forest that had been logged. Anderson says this study shows the need for treatment of these impacted areas within logged forests.
"It is clear that even though logging companies can take precautions to prevent many types of negative environmental impacts from their operations, soil density and water infiltration are being negatively affected," Anderson said.
"It is important these areas of compacted soil be identified and treated to reduce soil compaction and prevent long-term effects on forest regeneration and production. It is in the land managers' best interests to ensure that forest soils remain a healthy density because dense soil can lead to reduced tree production and poor wood quality for future logging operations."
This study, "Effects of logging activities on selected soil physical and hydraulic properties for a claypan landscape," was published in Geoderma.
University of Missouri-Columbia
Forestry News - Global and Local News, Science and Application
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|