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The Organic Truth: What 22 Years of Monitoring Reveals About Forest Soil Resiliency on the Kootenai National Forest

Posted date: April 16, 2019
Publication Year: 
Document type: Other Documents


Science You Can Use (in 5 min) publication:

It is impossible to avoid disturbing the forest when harvesting timber. Trees are felled, and soil is compacted beneath heavy equipment during harvest operations. Yet on many sites, the landscape recovers. A year later, a future forest may already be growing, with saplings and shrubs reclaiming the open ground. Even the soil recovers, as the results of a 22-year monitoring study in western Montana have shown. This finding is contrary to what was the accepted assumption, that compacted soils take a long time to recover, if at all, which in turn affects forest productivity.

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