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Timber Harvesting Practices and Water Quality in the Eastern United States

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Data from forested experimental watersheds in the eastern United States indicate that leaching of nutrients after timber harvesting, especially clearcutting, tends to increase from south to north, while increases in streamwater temperature and sediment loadings tend to decrease. Concentrations of nutrients in streamwater are highest where revegetation of cutover areas is delayed. Also, increased streamwater temperature (in addition to increased light) caused by exposing stream channels may influence water quality by affecting a wide range of physical, chemical, and biological processes. Soil erosion losses from harvesting operations can be kept to acceptable levels by following available land-management guidelines, and with supervision by qualified foresters. Buffer strips, in which only light selection cutting is allowed, will help minimize sedimentation as well as nutrient leaching and stream temperature increases.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of Forest Hydrology, Pennsylvania State University

Publication date: August 1, 1978

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
    Other SAF Publications
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