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Effects of skidder compaction and rutting on soil physical properties and water tables in a South Carolina wetlandAuthor(s): W. Aust; M. D. Tippett; J. A. Burger; W. H. Jr. McKee
Source: Proceedings of the Seventh Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Southern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (460.0 KB)
DescriptionSix wet pine flats were salvage-logged following Hurricane Hugo in the fall of 1989. High soil moisture conditions during the salvage operations resulted in soil compaction and deep rutting (puddling) within primary skid trails. Two studies were established to assess the effects of rubber-tired skidder trafficking on soil physical properties and water tables. One study addressed sites that had been compacted, the other study addressed sites that had been rutted (puddled). Each study consisted of three sites (blocks) from which plots were sampled in trafficked and nontrafficked areas. Effects of trafficking on soil properties and water tables were tested by comparing trafficked and nontrafficked plots. Soil compaction resulted in an increase in soil bulk density and a decrease in soil porosity (macro-, micro-, and total), depth to the water table, and saturated hydraulic conductivity. Rutting resulted in an increase in bulk density and a decrease in the depth to the water table, depth of reducing conditions, soil porosity, and saturated hydraulic conductivity. Both compaction and rutting decreased the amount and time of soil aeration by reducing internal water movement. Reduced water and air flow could reduce site productivity.
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CitationAust, W. M; Tippett, M. D.; Burger, J. A.; McKee, W. H. Jr. 1992. Effects of skidder compaction and rutting on soil physical properties and water tables in a South Carolina wetland. In: Proceedings of the Seventh Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference; 1992 Novvember 17-19; Mobile, AL: 131-135.
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