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Title: Soil properties and aspen development five years after compaction and forest floor removal

Author: Stone, Douglas M.; Elioff, John D.;

Date: 1998

Source: Canadian Journal of Soil Science. 78: 51-58.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Forest management activities that decrease soil porosity and remove organic matter have been associated with declines in site productivity. In the northern Lake States region, research is in progress in the aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx. and P. grandidentata Michx.) forest type to determine effects of soil compaction and organic matter removal on soil properties and growth of aspen suckers, associated woody species, herbaceous vegetation, and on stand development. Four treatments: (1) total tree harvest (TTH); (2) TTH plus soil compaction (CPT); (3) TTH plus forest floor removal (FFR); and (4) TTH plus CPT + FFR were applied after winter-harvest of a 70-yr-old aspen stand growing on a loamy sand with a site index(age 50) of 20.7 m. The CPT treatment significantly increased bulk density and soil strength of the surface 30 cm of soil and neither have recovered during the 5 yr since treatment. The CPT plots had 19.6 thousand (k) suckers ha-1, less than half that of the TTH and FFR treatments; mean diameter (19.4 mm) and height (271 cm) were greatest on the TTH plots. The disturbance treatments (CPT, FFR, and CPT + FFR) each reduced biomass of foliage, stems, and total suckers compared with the TTH treatment. Total aboveground biomass (herbs + shrubs + suckers) was less than half that of TTH plots. There were 5.0 k saplings (suckers >2.5 cm DBH) ha-1 on the TTH plots, but fewer than 1.0 k ha-1 in the other treatments. The disturbance treatments decreased 5-yr growth of potential crop trees, delayed early stand development, and temporarily reduced stockability and site productivity of an aspen ecosystem.

Keywords: soil compaction, organic matter removal, site productivity, stand development

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Stone, Douglas M.; Elioff, John D. 1998. Soil properties and aspen development five years after compaction and forest floor removal. Canadian Journal of Soil Science. 78: 51-58.


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