The short-term impact of coppice-with-standards management on soil in a Mediterranean holm oak forest was assessed to contribute to address appropriate recommendations to minimize possible negative effects of the silvicultural practices. For this purpose, soil surface features and topsoil properties were investigated in two representative areas located in a public forest in southwest Sardinia (Italy) and coppiced in the periods November 2012-March 2013 and November 2011-March 2012, respectively. Regardless of differences in soils and slope gradient, the same management, in terms of final density of trees standing after the clear-cut and accumulation of brushwood in strips along the maximum slope gradient, was applied in both areas. Field observations and laboratory data highlighted the disturbances caused to the soil by the silvicultural practices in the stands when compared with the undisturbed stands. These disturbances involved the almost complete removal of organic horizons, with consequent negative impact on organic carbon content, and the activation of erosion processes, mostly related to rainsplash erosion. Although soil mobilization locally largely exceeded the tolerable erosion rates, no extreme rainfall events occurred after the coppicing to produce critical situations at the catchment level. The adjustment of the final density of trees standing after the clear-cut in relation to soil properties, slope gradient and the possibility of extreme rainfall events, a different brushwood management and the restriction to the passage of wild animals would have strongly reduced the negative impacts on soils.

Short-term impact of Coppice management on soil in a Quercus ilex l. stand of Sardinia

VACCA, ANDREA;ARU, FRANCESCO;
2017

Abstract

The short-term impact of coppice-with-standards management on soil in a Mediterranean holm oak forest was assessed to contribute to address appropriate recommendations to minimize possible negative effects of the silvicultural practices. For this purpose, soil surface features and topsoil properties were investigated in two representative areas located in a public forest in southwest Sardinia (Italy) and coppiced in the periods November 2012-March 2013 and November 2011-March 2012, respectively. Regardless of differences in soils and slope gradient, the same management, in terms of final density of trees standing after the clear-cut and accumulation of brushwood in strips along the maximum slope gradient, was applied in both areas. Field observations and laboratory data highlighted the disturbances caused to the soil by the silvicultural practices in the stands when compared with the undisturbed stands. These disturbances involved the almost complete removal of organic horizons, with consequent negative impact on organic carbon content, and the activation of erosion processes, mostly related to rainsplash erosion. Although soil mobilization locally largely exceeded the tolerable erosion rates, no extreme rainfall events occurred after the coppicing to produce critical situations at the catchment level. The adjustment of the final density of trees standing after the clear-cut in relation to soil properties, slope gradient and the possibility of extreme rainfall events, a different brushwood management and the restriction to the passage of wild animals would have strongly reduced the negative impacts on soils.
Coppice-with-standards (CWS); Mediterranean holm oak forests; Organic horizons; Soil; Soil erosion; Soil Science; 2300; Environmental Chemistry; Development3304 Education
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/181315
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