Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub

    Description

    Forest biomass thinnings, to promote forest health or for energy production, can potentially impact the soil resource by altering soil physical, chemical, and/or biological properties. The extent and degree of impacts within a harvest unit or across a watershed will subsequently determine if site or soil productivity is affected. Although the impacts of stand removal on soil properties in the western United States have been documented, much less is known on periodic removals of biomass by thinnings or other partial cutting practices. However, basic recommendations and findings derived from stand-removal studies are also applicable to guide biomass thinnings for forest health, fuel reduction, or energy production. These are summarized as follows: (1) thinning operations are less likely to cause significant soil compaction than a stand-removal harvest, (2) risk-rating systems that evaluate soil susceptibility to compaction or nutrient losses from organic or mineral topsoil removal can help guide management practices, (3) using designated or existing harvesting traffic lanes and leaving some thinning residue in high traffic areas can reduce soil compaction on a stand basis, and (4) coarse-textured low fertility soils have greater risk of nutrient limitations resulting from whole-tree thinning removals than finer textured soils with higher fertility levels.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • 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.

    Citation

    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Jurgensen, Martin; Terry, Thomas. 2010. Maintaining soil productivity during forest or biomass-to-energy thinning harvests in the western United States. Western Journal of Applied Forestry. 25(1): 5-11.

    Keywords

    thinning, best management practices (BMP), site productivity, soil management

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/34428