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Publication Information

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Title: Keeping your forest soils healthy and productive.

Author: Helgerson, Ole T.; Miller, Richard E.;

Date: 2008

Source: Washington State University Extension. EB2019

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Soils are an integral structural part of your woodland and the larger forest ecosystem. Important forest soil functions include:

  • Providing water, nutrients, and physical support for the growth of trees and other forest plants
  • Allowing an exchange of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and other gasses that affect root growth and soil organisms
  • Providing a substrate for organisms linked with vital ecosystem processes
  • Harboring root diseases and other pests
  • Affecting water quantity and quality

Thus, how you protect and manage forest soils affects your forest's short- and long-term productivity and the water quality of adjoining streams and lakes, including their suitability for fish habitat and other uses. This publication will provide you with:
  • An understanding of soil characteristics important to woodland management
  • Management practices for maintaining and enhancing soil quality
  • A guide for obtaining soil-specific information from USDA soil surveys
  • A list of useful references
  • A glossary of forest soil terminology

Keywords: Soil, forest soil function, ecosystem processes

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Helgerson, Ole T.; Miller, Richard E. 2008. Keeping your forest soils healthy and productive. Washington State University Extension. EB2019


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