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Effect of Logging Equipment Traffic On Soil Density and Growth and Survival of Young Loblolly Pine

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Soil bulk densities, determined on plots representing a gradient of harvesting traffic, indicated that compaction was an average of 12 percent greater on former logging decks and primary skid roads as compared to nontrafficked areas. Penetrometer readings supported the bulk density results and, in addition, showed increased compaction on secondary roads and road borders as compared to relatively undisturbed areas. This compaction was reflected in height growth reductions of 39 to 59 percent in five-year old loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) on decks and primary roads. Number of pine per acre was reduced by 88 to 91 percent on the same areas. Root collar diameters also decreased but were not significantly different from those on relatively undisturbed plots. These results are discussed in relation to the 1 percent proportion of the harvested area involved in soil property impacts and reduced tree growth.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of agricultural engineering--forestry mechanization, School of Forestry, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston 71270

Publication date: May 1, 1984

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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