Canadian Forest Service Publications

Harvesting and slash piling affect soil respiration, soil temperature, and soil moisture regimes in Newfoundland boreal forests. 2009. Moroni, M.T.; Carter, P.Q.; Ryan, D.A.J. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 89: 343-355.

Year: 2009

Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 29594

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free)

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The effect of harvesting and slash piling on soil respiration, temperature and moisture was examined in a balsam fir (Abies balsamea) and a black spruce (Picea mariana) forest located in western Newfoundland, Canada, 2 mo to 2.5 yr following harvesting. Within 4 mo of harvesting, soil temperature, moisture, and soil respiration rates were affected by harvesting and slash piling. Clearcut areas without slash (CC-S) had significantly lower soil respiration rates than uncut forests (F). However, clearcut areas with slash cover (CC+S) had significantly higher soil respiration rates than CC-S. When harvested areas with and without slash were combined, harvesting decreased soil respiration in the black spruce forest but had no effect on soil respiration in the balsam fir forest. Harvesting increased soil temperatures at 10 cm, however CC+S temperatures were cooler than CC-S temperatures. Harvested areas tended to dry faster than F, although soil moisture levels at >3.5 cm were not significantly depleted. However, there was evidence of soil drying at <3.5 cm. Soil temperature (at 10 cm) at the time of measurement was most strongly correlated to rates of soil respiration. Temporal variability and treatment effects (harvesting and slash piling) played a minor role in explaining soil respiration rates when variations in soil respiration were adjusted for 10-cm soil temperature. Soil moisture levels (3.5–9.5 cm. depth), which did not vary widely, also played a minor role in explaining soil respiration rates.