Impact of forest management practices on forest nutrient and hydrological cycles

Field experiments are designed to examinethe impacts of organic matter removal (full-tree harvesting vs stem only, clearcut vs selection/shelterwood, bladed vs non bladed) and soil compaction on forest soil processes and sustainability of forest productivity. Work in jack pine ecosystems is part of the Long-Term Soil Productivity Study, an international partnership with the USDA Forest Service that has  research installations in a variety  of  forest and soil types across Canada and the United States. Work in tolerant hardwood forests at the Turkey Lakes Watershed has demonstrated the increased importance of event water and near surface pathways to streamflow in clearcut catchments in contrast to unharvested catchments. A recent study at the Island Lake Biomass Harvest Experiment  is investigating the effects of increased biomass removals associated with the increased production of energy from woody biomass on site productivity and biodiversity. This experiment is also evaluating the ecological effects of applying wood ash from biomass boilers to harvested sites.  All of this research addresses government and industry concerns about the immediate off-site impacts of forest management practices and longer term questions of soil fertility and the maintenance of sustainable forest productivity.

A section of cleared forest.
A section of cleared forest.
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Recent publications:

Fleming, R.L.; Leblanc, J.D.; Hazlett, P. W.; Weldon, T.; Mossa, D.S. 2014. Effects of biomass harvest intensity and soil disturbance on jack pine stand productivity 15 year results. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 44:1566-1574.

Kwiaton, M.; Hazlett, P.; Morris, D.; Fleming, R.; Webster, K.; Venier, L.; Aubin,I. 2014. Island Lake biomass harvest research and demonstration area: establishment report. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Great Lakes Forestry Centre, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Information Report GLC-X-11 82p.

Gorgolewski, A.; Caspersen, J.; Hazlett,P.; Jones, T.; Tran, H.; Basiliko, N. 2016. Responses of Eastern red-backed salamander (_Plethodon cinereus_) abundance 1 year after application of wood ash in a northern hardwood forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 46:402-409.

Hazlett, P.; Morris, D.; Fleming, R.L. 2014. Effects of biomass removals on site carbon and nutrient retention and jack pine tree growth across a site productivity gradient in upland boreal forests of Ontario. Soil Science Society of America Journal 78:S183-S195

Impacts of biomass harvesting on forest sustainability: The Island Lake Study. 2014. Natural Resources Canada. Canadian Forest Service, Great Lakes Forestry Centre, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Frontline Express 80 2p.

Kreutzweiser, D.P.; Hazlett, P.W.; Gunn, J.M. 2008. Logging impacts on the bigeochemistry of boreal forest soils and nutrient export to aquatic systems: a review. Environmental Reviews 16: 157 - 179.

Noyce, G.L.; Fulthorpe, R.; Gorgolewski, A.; Hazlett, P. 2016. Soil microbial responses to wood ash addition and forest fire in managed Ontario forests. Applied Soil Ecology 107:368-380.

Ponder, F.; Fleming, R.L.; Berch, S.; Busse, M.D.; Elioff, J.D.; Hazlett, P.; Kabzems, R.D.; Kranabetter, J.M.; Morris,D.M.; Page-Dumroese, D.; Palik, B.J.; Powers, R.F.; Sanchez, F.g.; Scott, D.A.; Stagg, R.H.; Stone, D.M.; Young, D.H.; Zhang, J.; Ludovici, K.H.; McKenney, D.W.; Mossa, D.S.; Sanborn, P.T.; Voldseth, R.A. 2012. Effects of organic matter removal, soil compaction and vegetation control on 10th year biomass and foliar nutrition: LTSP continent-wide comparisons. Forest Ecology and Management 278:35-54.

Puddister, D.; Dominy, S.W.J.; Baker, J.A.; Morris, D.M.; Maure, J.; Rice, J.A.; Jones, T.A.; Majumdar, I.; Hazlett, P.; Titus, B.D.; Fleming, R.L.; Wetzel, S. 2011.Opportunities and challenges for Ontario's forest bioeconomy. The Forestry Chronicle 87(4):468-477.

Pugliese, S.; Jones, T.; Preston, M.D.; Hazlett, P.; Tran, H.; Basiliko, N. 2014. Wood ash as a forest soil amendment: the role of boiler and soil type on soil property response. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 94:621-634.

Thiffault, E.; Hannam, K.D.; Paré, D.; Titus, B.D.; Hazlett, P.W.; Maynard, D.G.; Brais, S. 2011. Effects of forest biomass harvesting on soil productivity in boreal and temperate forests – A review. Environ. Rev. 19:278-309.

Webster, K.L.; Wilson, S.A.; Hazlett, P.W.; Fleming, R.L.; Morris, D.M. 2016. Soil CO2 efflux and net ecosystem exchange fall harvesting: impacts of harvest intensity, residue vegetation. Forest Ecology and Management 360:181-194.

Project status

  • On-going

Team members

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