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    Author(s): Ole T. Helgerson; Richard E. Miller
    Date: 2008
    Source: Washington State University Extension. EB2019
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (17.17 MB)


    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

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • 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


    Soil, forest soil function, ecosystem processes

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