The Caspian forests of Iran were monitored and evaluated for forest natural regeneration after logging activities for more than a decade. This large area has a substantial ecological, environmental and socio-economic importance. Ground based skidding is the most common logging method in these forests and soil compaction is the most critical consequence of this method. One of the current main topics and important emerging issue in forest research of the last decade are discussed in this study. Soil compaction has major influences on growth and/or mortality rates of forest seedlings. This study has lasted for over ten years so as to have a clear overview related to forest natural regeneration after logging activities. We monitored and evaluated physical soil properties (bulk density, penetration resistance and total porosity) and their effects on maple and beech seedlings on 10-year-old skid trails in the Iranian Caspian forests. Results obtained from evaluating the impact of skid trails within the aforementioned three soil physical parameters were significant; bulk density increased by 12.6% on log skidded routes (between two skidder tires on skid trail) and 36.1% on tire tracks, compared to non-skid trails (1.19 g/cm3), penetration resistance increased by 68% on log skidded routes and 220% on tire tracks, compared to non-skid trails (0.25 MPa), total porosity decreased by 12.8% on log skidded routes and 30.9% on tire tracks, compared to non-skid trails (54%). Among the morphological parameters, lateral root length (LRL) and root penetration depth (RPD) showed the highest decrease at soil compaction compared to the control (decrease in LRL: 60% in maple and 44% in beech; decrease in RPD: 56% in both maple and beech); the main response of growth parameters to soil compaction was found in roots (decrease in dry mass of 36% both in maple and beech); architectural parameters were also influenced by soil compaction, and the response of both seedling species was more evident in the ratio of main root to stem length (RRS) (reduction in RRS 42% in maple, 33% in beech); the ratio of RPD to main root length (RPL) also showed a great reduction (reduction in RPL 20% in maple 33% in beech). Physical soil properties, changes in other environmental properties of skid trails, created differences in beech and maple seedling growth between the skid trails and non-skid trails. This was closely related to the physiological characteristics of the two species studied. Beech seedlings reacted well to a moderate uncovering but they needed little disturbed soil, even if there was a very mixed bedding. Maple seedlings reacted better than beech seedlings to the uncovering and soil disturbance. The effects of the skid trail on morphology, growth and architecture of maple seedlings in the Hyrcanian beech forests showed that the maple, as a seedling, is a suitable species for maintaining the physical properties of skid trails after logging operations in the beech stands in the Caspian forests of Iran.

Morphology, growth and architecture response of beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) and maple tree (Acer velutinum Boiss.) seedlings to soil compaction stress caused by mechanized logging operations

Picchio R.;Venanzi R.;
2019

Abstract

The Caspian forests of Iran were monitored and evaluated for forest natural regeneration after logging activities for more than a decade. This large area has a substantial ecological, environmental and socio-economic importance. Ground based skidding is the most common logging method in these forests and soil compaction is the most critical consequence of this method. One of the current main topics and important emerging issue in forest research of the last decade are discussed in this study. Soil compaction has major influences on growth and/or mortality rates of forest seedlings. This study has lasted for over ten years so as to have a clear overview related to forest natural regeneration after logging activities. We monitored and evaluated physical soil properties (bulk density, penetration resistance and total porosity) and their effects on maple and beech seedlings on 10-year-old skid trails in the Iranian Caspian forests. Results obtained from evaluating the impact of skid trails within the aforementioned three soil physical parameters were significant; bulk density increased by 12.6% on log skidded routes (between two skidder tires on skid trail) and 36.1% on tire tracks, compared to non-skid trails (1.19 g/cm3), penetration resistance increased by 68% on log skidded routes and 220% on tire tracks, compared to non-skid trails (0.25 MPa), total porosity decreased by 12.8% on log skidded routes and 30.9% on tire tracks, compared to non-skid trails (54%). Among the morphological parameters, lateral root length (LRL) and root penetration depth (RPD) showed the highest decrease at soil compaction compared to the control (decrease in LRL: 60% in maple and 44% in beech; decrease in RPD: 56% in both maple and beech); the main response of growth parameters to soil compaction was found in roots (decrease in dry mass of 36% both in maple and beech); architectural parameters were also influenced by soil compaction, and the response of both seedling species was more evident in the ratio of main root to stem length (RRS) (reduction in RRS 42% in maple, 33% in beech); the ratio of RPD to main root length (RPL) also showed a great reduction (reduction in RPL 20% in maple 33% in beech). Physical soil properties, changes in other environmental properties of skid trails, created differences in beech and maple seedling growth between the skid trails and non-skid trails. This was closely related to the physiological characteristics of the two species studied. Beech seedlings reacted well to a moderate uncovering but they needed little disturbed soil, even if there was a very mixed bedding. Maple seedlings reacted better than beech seedlings to the uncovering and soil disturbance. The effects of the skid trail on morphology, growth and architecture of maple seedlings in the Hyrcanian beech forests showed that the maple, as a seedling, is a suitable species for maintaining the physical properties of skid trails after logging operations in the beech stands in the Caspian forests of Iran.
2019
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3396933
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