Volume 43 No.2
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Volume 43 No.2

New Challenges

Mental Workload, Occupational Fatigue and Musculoskeletal Disorders of Forestry Professionals: The Case of a Loblolly Plantation in Northern Iran

volume: 43, issue:

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) comprise one of the most important occupational health issues in forestry professions. The purpose of the study was to examine the association among musculoskeletal disorders, antrhopometric and personal data, mental workload and occupational fatigue in forest professionals in northern Iran by means of the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Task Load Index (NASA-TLX), and the Swedish Occupational Fatigue Inventory (SOFI). More than eight out of every ten subjects reported at least one MSD symptom during the past 12 months, with lower back (72.5%), feet and ankles (49%) and neck (41.2%) being the more frequently affected body regions. Similar MSD prevalences were reported for the period of seven days prior to data collection. Both the mental workload (grand mean 73.18±7.54) and occupational fatigue (grand mean 106.20±24.53) achieved high scores. MSD prevalence was found to be correlated with the SOFI score and the NASA-TLX score during the last year and seven days prior to data collection, respectively.

Overall, the study results confirm the very demanding nature of the forest professions, which are characterized by high MSD prevalence, increased occupational fatigue and high mental workload. Given the small-scale forestry characteristics in the study area, taking measures such as introducing vocational training and promoting the use of personal protective equipment are some first necessary steps for the local forestry workforce.

SEILAPLAN, a QGIS Plugin for Cable Road Layout Design

volume: 43, issue:

Cable-based technologies have been the backbone of forest management and harvesting on steep slopes for decades. The design of a cable road is a complex task. It essentially comprises the identification of the start and end points of a cable road, as well as the intermediate supports. With the aim of simplifying this design process, we developed a semi-automated cable road design tool (QGIS plugin SEILAPLAN) that is easy and intuitive to use. SEILAPLAN is based on mechanical assumptions for the structural analysis that are »close-to-reality«, contains an algorithm that checks all possible intermediate support combinations and automatically identifies the optimal solution, and integrates tools and geodata within a GIS application. We present its main components and present an example of application. The integration into a GIS program, the implemented cable mechanics, and the associated information for the construction of a cable road were highly appreciated by the users.

Exposure to Occupational Noise: Machine Operators of Full Tree System in Brazil

volume: 43, issue:

Physical agent noise can be considered one of the main disturbances that compromise the occupational health of self-propelled forest machine operators. We evaluated whether occupational noise levels emitted by self-propelled forest machines employed in the full tree system are in accordance with both the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and ISO 1999:2013 standards, while also proposing mitigating measures aimed at protecting the operators hearing. Seventeen operators, who performed wood harvesting operations in Eucalyptus forests in Brazil, were analyzed. Noise levels were collected in a daily shift of eight hours as recommended by the Acoustics – Determination of occupational noise exposure - Engineering method for full-day measurements (ISO 9612:2009). The standards adopted for the evaluation were the exposure action value of 80 dBA and the exposure limit of 85 dBA based on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health – NIOSH and on Acoustics – Estimation of noise-induced hearing loss (ISO 1999:2013) Directive 2003/10/EC. The operators were arranged in homogeneous groups according to the Acoustics recommendation – Determination of occupational noise exposure - Engineering method for full-day measurements (ISO 9612:2009), classified by the operations of felling, skidding of tree bundles and bucking. The results showed that 17 self-propelled forest machines exceeded the exposure action value of 80 dBA, of which 10 machines exceeded the exposure limit of 85 dBA. It was concluded that the levels of occupational noise emitted by self-propelled forest machines used in the full tree system are higher than those recommended by both standards, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and ISO 1999:2013. Therefore, the allocation of self-propelled forest machines to homogeneous groups allows inferring mitigation actions that protect operators' hearing. The correct use of hearing protectors during the daily workday provides hearing protection for operators in mechanized wood harvesting. Adoption of actions such as maintenance of cabin seals and mechanical components, breaks for fatigue relief, reduction of daily working hours and rotation of operators in different self-propelled forest machines can mitigate the damage to the occupational health of operators.

Private Forest Owner's Cooperation in Machinery Ring: Is it a Solution for Wood Mobilization from Small-Scale Private Forests?

volume: 43, issue:

Legislation and policy makers have recognized private forest owners cooperation in machinery ring as an instrument to support wood mobilization through efficient use of machinery. The study analyzes private forest owner's cooperation in the machinery ring in Slovenia and determines whether this cooperation contributes to wood mobilization from small-scale private forests. The research was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, the survey was conducted among the members of machinery rings at their annual general meetings (24 machinery rings participated in the survey, representing 64.9% of the total number of machinery rings). The questionnaire was distributed to all members present at the annual general meetings (n=529) and only those who were private forest owner or provided services within machinery rings were eligible to complete the questionnaire (n=438). In the second phase, data on the amount of service provided by machinery ring members were compared with the amount of felling in private forests for 2019 to gain insight into the extend of forestry work (timber harvesting) carried out in a private forest under neighbourhood assistance.The results show that machinery rings members are predominantly male, on average 50 years old, mainly with high school education and occupation in agriculture, owning on average 15.2 ha of forest. Regardless of forest management activities, machinery ring members perform forest management activities in their forest by themselves or with the help of family members. Only a small proportion of members use neighbourhood assistance to carry out the work. This most often occurs in the transport of timber. A very small proportion of members provide forest services through the machinery ring, but their scope of services is not insignificant. In 2019, machinery ring members most often performed harvesting activities with the chain saw, followed by timber skidding as a service. Equipment with machinery for providing services is good among members – about three quarters of them have a chainsaw and an adapted agricultural tractor, but this machinery is quite old, showing that machinery is insufficiently used for forestry operations. The results show that machinery rings are nowadays an essential part of strategic (operational) management in Slovenian agriculture and forestry, and provide important insights into the possibilities to improve forestry operations and the future development cooperation between private forest owners in machinery rings to support wood mobilization from small-scale private forests.

Application of UAS for Monitoring of Forest Ecosystems – A Review of Experience and Knowledge

volume: 43, issue:

In the last couple of years, there have been a great number of articles that cover and emphasize the advantages and possibilities that UAS (Unmanned Air System) offers in forest ecosystem research. In the available research, alongside UAS, the importance of developing sensors that are designed to be used with UAV (Unamnned Air Vehicle), a flight programming software and UAS collected data processing software have been pointed out. With the widespread use of high-precision sensors and accompanying software in forestry, it is possible to obtain accurate data in a short time that replaces long-term manpower in the field with equal or in some cases, such as windthrow calculation or wildlife counting, greater accuracy. The former practice of manual imagery processing is being partly replaced with automated approaches. The paper analyses studies that deal with some form of application of UAS in forestry, e.g. forest inventory, forest operations, ecological monitoring, forest pests and forest fires, and wildlife monitoring. In the forest inventory, a large number of studies deal with the possibilities of applying UAS in mapping vegetation and individual trees, morphological research of individual parts of trees, surface analysis, etc. The use of remote and proximal sensing technologies in forest engineering has mainly been focused on defining surface roughness and topology, road geometry, planning and maintenance, ground-based and cable-based harvesting and soil characteristics and displacement. Wildfire monitoring already relies heavily on the use of UAS and thermal cameras in operations, and it is similar to the mapping of windthrow or directions of the spread of certain insects important for forestry. In wildlife research, numerous studies deal with abundance research of individual terrestrial birds and mammals using UAS thermal imagery. With some drawbacks such as wildlife disturbance or limited UAV range, common to most of the processed studies are positive attitudes regarding the application of UAS in forestry sensing and monitoring, which is slowly becoming a common operative practice, with the scientists’ focus being on developing automated approaches in UAS imagery processing. Reducing the error by improving the technological characteristics of the sensors will in the long run reduce the number of people required to collect data important for forestry, reduce risks and in some cases increase accuracy.

A Comparative Pattern for Populus spp. and Betula spp. Stand Biomass in Eurasian Climate Gradients

volume: 43, issue:

Based on the generated database of 413 and 490 plots of biomass of Populus spp. and Betula spp. in Eurasia, statistically significant changes in the structure of forest stand biomass were found with shifts in January temperatures and average annual precipitation. When analyzing harvest data, the propeller-shaped biomass patterns in the gradients of average annual precipitation and average January temperatures are obtained, which are common for both deciduous species. Correspondingly, Populus and Betula forests show a regularity common to the biomass components: in the cold zones the precipitation increase leads to the increase of biomass, and in the warm ones to their decrease. In wet areas, the increase of temperature causes the decrease of biomass, and in dry areas, it causes their increase. In accordance with the law of the limiting factor by Liebig-Shelford, it is shown that both an decrease in temperature in dry conditions and a increase in precipitation in a warm climate lead to a decrease in the biomass of trees.

An Analysis of Chainsaw Operator Safety Between Asian and European Countries

volume: 43, issue:

Work safety in the forestry industry, where chainsaws are used for tree felling, continues to be a top priority. The mobility of workers involved in chainsaw operations between Europe and Asia has become more common in today’s global workplace. Therefore, sharing knowledge about the types of work safety issues found in both regions can be beneficial. Increased knowledge and safety awareness in the workplace can contribute to a reduction in chainsaw accidents. This paper identifies and addresses four key related areas, namely: regulatory frameworks; chainsaw accidents; personal protective equipment and chainsaw training. Information for both regions was evaluated via interviews, questionnaires, direct observation, desk studies, field studies and descriptive statistical analysis. A total of 234 participants responded to the main research questionnaire, which resulted in data analysis of significant questions related to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and possible causes of accidents. Key findings included a need for more information relating to the effect of regulations in individual countries and chainsaw accident and fatality statistics within Asia. A requirement for further research into the suitability of PPE used in Asia was identified. Inadequate training was seen as a primary factor causing accidents in Asia, while in Europe, it was due to chainsaw operators taking shortcuts. Inadequate workplace supervision and a lack of uniform and affordable training provision were common issues identified within both regions. Field tests carried out in accordance with the International/European chainsaw (ICC/ECC) qualification standards of the »non-profit« Awarding Body Association (ABA) International were successful in demonstrating the benefits of uniform training to participants in Europe and Asia. Overall, the study raises awareness of the fatal consequences of risk-taking behaviour to work safety, requiring a better understanding of the problem from a social psychology perspective. It identifies the self-employed or temporary worker groups as high-risk categories in both regions, with younger workers seen to be more at risk of injury in Asia and older workers more at risk in Europe. The findings demonstrate that, while there are differences between the two regions (at least within the participating countries), it is essential to provide quality education and raise skills by training and promotion of supervision in order to prevent chainsaw accidents. This can lead to the development of the building blocks of a holistic approach to safety in forestry work, which, as shown in this paper, can result in a decrease in the occurrence of accidents.

Exploring the Design of Highly Energy Efficient Forestry Cranes using Gravity Compensation

volume: 43, issue:

Although most mechanized forestry work relies heavily on cranes for handling logs along the supply chain, there has been little research on how to improve cranes design. In addition, the available research has mainly focused on improving current designs, so there is a lack of application of modern methods for designing cranes with improved efficiency.

This paper analyzes how a mechanical engineering design method, known as gravity compensation, can be used to make a new generation of highly energy efficient forestry cranes. To introduce this design approach, a standard forwarder crane with two booms is used as a model system on which to apply gravity compensation concepts. The design methodology follows a procedure based on physics and mathematical optimization, with the objective of minimizing the energy needed to move the crane by using gravity compensation via counterweights. To this end, we considered to minimize mechanical power, because this quantity relates to how fuel and hydraulic fluid are converted into mechanical motion.

This analysis suggests that using gravity compensation could reduce energy consumption due to crane work by 27%, at the cost of increasing the crane total mass by 57%. Thus, the original crane mass of 559 kg increases to 879 kg after applying gravity compensation with counterweights. However, overall reductions in energy consumption would depend on both the crane work and the extraction distance. The greater the extraction distance, the lower the total savings. However, energy consumption savings of around 2% could be achieved even with an extraction distance of 1 km.

From a design perspective, this study emphasized the need to consider gravity compensation in the design philosophy of forestry cranes, not only for its ability to minimize energy consumption, but also due to all the inherited properties it provides. This initial study concludes that designing cranes with a combination of gravity compensation concepts could yield a new generation of highly energy efficient cranes with energy savings exceeding those reported here.

Use of Impact Penetrometer to Determine Changes in Soil Compactness After Entracon Sioux EH30 Timber Harvesting

volume: 43, issue:

Wood harvesting with the use of wheeled harvesters is now common in Polish and Czech forests. While moving in the forest, the wheels of these machines affect the forest soil and the extent of this impact is interesting. The paper presents the results of measurements of the changes that occur in the soil on the operational trails after the timber harvesting using the Entracon Sioux EH30 thinning harvester. The measurements were taken on fragments of three operational trails, in and between the ruts and at a distance of 1.0 m off the trail. An impact penetrometer was used to measure the penetration resistance, soil samples were collected to determine the bulk density and moisture content, and soil deformations on the trail were measured with a profile meter. Unit pressures exerted by harvester wheels on the ground were determined. It was shown that in the places where the harvester wheels pass, even of a small weight (5.73 tons, 8 wheels) and with unit pressures of the wheels on the ground <50 kPa, changes in soil parameters occurred. A statistically significant increase in penetration resistance in relation to the control occurred at a depth of up to 35 cm, while at a depth of up to 5 cm the increase was more than 2-fold. There was also a slight decrease in soil moisture content (up to 7.9%) and an increase (up to 8.4%) in bulk density in the ruts, while rut depths were small and reached 4 cm. As it was shown, the impact penetrometer, simple in design, which was assumed to be used for measurements, and which is not used in this type of research in forestry, despite its limitations, can be used to determine the compactness of the soil and its changes resulting from machine work.

Effectiveness of Water Diversion Structure to Mitigate Runoff, Sediment Yield, Nitrate and Phosphate Concentrations in Skid Trail of Mountainous Forest Ecosystem

volume: 43, issue:

It is well-known that soil and water conservation actions (e.g., installing water diversion structures) are necessary to restore skid trails after logging operations. However, there are some points that have yet to be determined concerning the efficacy of rehabilitation on sediment yield and nutrient export to the aquatic environment. The objectives of this study were to determine the optimal distance among the water diversion structures (WDSs) to suppress runoff, sediment yield, and measure nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations on the skid trails of a mountainous ecosystem. The study was conducted on a total of 18 bounded runoff plots, each with a width of 4 m and a length of 120 m, divided into six treatment compartments done in triplicate. Beech logs were placed at a distance of 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 meters. An untreated area (U) was set up during the recording period from 18 September 2015 to 17 September 2016. In all the WDS treatments and untreated trails (U), the observed peaks of runoff, sediment yield, as well as nitrate and phosphate concentrations was found to be significantly correlated with the amount of rainfall events. Results show that there was a decrease in surface runoff and runoff coefficient, sediment yield, and nitrate and phosphate concentrations by installing of WDS at different distances. The runoff and runoff coefficients (2.67 mm and 0.101, respectively) were at the lowest level in the WDS20 (WDS at a distance of 20 m). The sediment yield was significantly higher on the U, 13.52 g m-2 followed by WDS40, whereas the lowest values were detected at the WDS10. Significantly higher values of nitrate were found in the U (3.63 mg l-1), while the lowest amounts of nitrate were determined at WDS5 followed by the WDS20 treatment. The highest values of phosphate were found on the U treatment (0.278 mg l-1) followed by the WDS40 treatment, whereas the lowest phosphate values were measured in the WDS20 treated area. Therefore, it can be deduced that the recommended water diversion structure should be placed at a distance of 20 m to mitigate runoff, sediment yield, nitrate and phosphate exports on the skid trails.

Growth and Development Dynamics of Young Holm Oak (Quercus Ilex L.) Stands after Shelterwood Cutting in Open Forest Road Conditions

volume: 43, issue:

The Mediterranean forest region has been exposed to anthropogenic impacts for centuries, and the constant biotic and abiotic factors, together with increasing climate change, have hindered the proper management of forest ecosystems. This study presents the results of multiyear, systematic, specific and practical monitoring of the conversion of holm oak coppices using the principles of the shelterwood system. It also presents the growth and development dynamics of the stand on a permanent experimental plot from 1997 to 2017. The research was performed in the Eumediterranean vegetation zone of coniferous forest (Forest Management, Buzet branch, Pula Forestry Office, Magran Cuf management unit, compartment 83a). The plot has all the properties of a holm oak and manna ash forests (Orno-Quercetum ilicis H-ić/1956/1958). The basic elements of stand structure were monitored: diameter at breast height (DBH), tree height, horizontal crown projection, crown ground shading (light) and the appearance and abundance of all woody vegetation, with special emphasis on the growth and development of young generations of holm oak from seed. The paper also describes the threats limiting growth, development and survival of holm oak from seed (strong shooting tendencies of coppiced holm oak and bay laurel trees, excessive presence of shrubs). Forest management requires effective, timely and repeated tending to thin stands (already under the canopy), while also protecting young trees from wild game. The statistical method of interpolation determined the trends of stand development; trend equation with coefficient of determination (R2) is very high. This indicates the growth and development of the stand in the direction of renewal of holm oak stands. Shelterwood cutting, with regular and timely tending of young generations of trees through a seven-year regeneration period, resulted in a high quality young high forest of holm oak, the first of its kind in the broader Mediterranean area. The indigenous stands of holm oak, as the fundamental climatogenic coniferous species of the Mediterranean species, have multiple roles such as protection from erosion, resilience to biotic and abiotic factors and forest fires, tourism and landscape functions, and other general forest functions, and therefore deserve intensive and ongoing research. Holm oak stands also play a part in conserving genetic and biological diversity, the potential and persistence of forest ecosystems, improving stand structure, stability and resilience of forest ecosystems to climate change, and in the long-term increase the commercial value of forest stands in the Croatian Mediterranean.

Micro-Data Efficiency Evaluation of Forest Companies: The Case of Central Europe

volume: 43, issue:

The forestry sector is facing critical challenges due to climate change. Decision-making support based on efficiency evaluation using non-parametric methods could provide important information for both forest managers and policymakers. However, such advanced technical analysis is scarce in forestry science. When applied, its application has been primarily based on aggregated, macro-level data, and efficiency was analysed for the forestry sector as a whole. There is a lack of studies from the company-level perspective, which are needed to provide sound decision support.

In this paper, we focus on the micro-data level and offer the data envelopment analysis model settings and interpretations for an efficiency evaluation based on the financial data of individual forestry companies. The aim is to provide an original analysis of the company-level driving forces of forestry sector efficiency. The results for central European countries show that efficiency is driven by company size and country of operation. The study also confirms that, generally, German companies are the »efficiency leaders« in the region, while Czech companies may serve as an efficiency reference for east-central European forestry companies.

Stem-Level Bucking Pattern Optimization in Chainsaw Bucking Based on Terrestrial Laser Scanning Data

volume: 43, issue:

Cross-cutting of a tree into a set of assortments (»bucking pattern«) presents a large potential for optimizing the volume and value recovery; therefore, bucking pattern optimization has been studied extensively in the past. However, it has not seen widespread adoption in chainsaw bucking, where time consuming and costly manual measurement of input parameters is required for taper curve estimation. The present study investigated an alternative approach, where taper curves are fit based on terrestrial laser scanning data (TLS), and how deviations from observed taper curves (REF) affect the result of bucking pattern optimization. In addition, performance of TLS was compared to a traditional, segmental taper curve estimation approach (APP) and an experienced chainsaw operator’s solution (CHA).

A mature Norway Spruce stand was surveyed by stationary terrestrial laser scanning. In TLS, taper curves were fit by a mixed-effects B-spline regression approach to stem diameters extracted from 3D point cloud data. A network analysis technique algorithm was used for bucking pattern optimization during harvesting. Stem diameter profiles and the chainsaw operator’s bucking pattern were obtained by manual measurement. The former was used for post-operation fit of REF taper curves by the same approach as in TLS. APP taper curves were fit based on part of the data. For 35 trees, TLS and APP taper curves were compared to REF on  tree, trunk and crown section level. REF and APP bucking patterns were optimized with the same algorithm as in TLS. For 30 trees, TLS, APP and CHA bucking patterns were compared to REF on operation and tree level.

Taper curves were estimated with high accuracy and precision (underestimated by 0.2 cm on average (SD=1.5 cm); RMSE=1.5 cm) in TLS and the fit outperformed APP. Volume and value recovery were marginally higher in TLS (0.6%; 0.9%) than in REF on operation level, while substantial differences were observed for APP (–6.1%; –4.1%). Except for cumulated nominal length, no significant differences were observed between TLS and REF on tree level, while APP result was inferior throughout. Volume and value recovery in CHA was significantly higher (2.1%; 2.4%), but mainly due to a small disadvantage of the optimization algorithm.

The investigated approach based on terrestrial laser scanning data proved to provide highly accurate and precise estimations of the taper curves. Therefore, it can be considered a further step towards increased accuracy, precision and efficiency of bucking pattern optimization in chainsaw bucking.

Determination of Optimal Distribution and Transportation Network (Wood Transportation in Iran)

volume: 43, issue:

Today, transportation network optimization has become one of the significant aspects of supply chain planning, and even a slight rise in productivity can significantly reduce costs of distribution of wood in the transportation network. In the forest based industry, given that transportation is the main cost of raw wood supply, using transportation planning, distribution should be done in a way so as to minimize the overall wood displacement. Such planning must meet the needs of all demand centers and the distribution supplier points must be used to their full capacity. Accordingly, the present study strived to find an optimal solution for transportation and distribution of raw wood from the main supplier points to small and large centers of wood and paper industries in Iran. This optimization simultaneously focuses on several products and is at the macroeconomic level of the country wood market. To achieve this goal, linear programming – Transportation Simplex Algorithm was used. The results show a significant fall in transportation costs and a more organized wood distribution network than the current situation. This cost reduction can be attributed to decisions about the optimal distribution of wood types, determining transport routes, and opting for the right type of truck supplier based on load tonnage and distance. This plummet in transportation costs plunges the cost of wood and wood products, which will surge competition in the business and will be of interest to manufacturers, distributors, customers and stakeholders in general.

A Research of Design, Lateral Stability and Simulation for a Chassis Running in Forest

volume: 43, issue:

Forest roads are short of structured terrain. Individual wheels often cannot contact the ground when conventional chassis is driving, and the mobility is weak. In addition, the lateral rollover usually occurs. In this article, a forestry chassis with a novel articulated structure with three degrees of freedom (FC-3DOF(II)) is proposed. Compared with conventional chassis, the novel articulated structure is designed, which contributes to achieving full-time contact between wheels and ground. The mobility is improved. For the lateral stability, the previous lateral rollover model of chassis is often established by the geometrical position of COG (center of gravity) of the frame. This method is applied with limitations, which is not universal. Therefore, a new accurate lateral rollover model for FC-3DOF(II) is derived, which predicts the lateral stability by analyzing tire contact forces. The new lateral rollover model is more general and recovers the previous model. To verify the theoretical analysis exactly, the virtual prototype of FC-3DOF(II) is established in SolidWorks, and simulations of lateral rollover are carried out in ADAMS. In simulation experiments, the lateral stability is predicted by analyzing tire contact forces when the inclination of terrain is increasing. Two conditions are considered in simulations. The lateral stability of FC-3DOF(II) and FC-3DOF(II) installed rectangular objects. Compared to the simulation and theoretical results, for FC-3DOF(II), the maximum absolute percent difference of the contact force with the theoretical analysis relative to the simulation is only 1.83%. For FC-3DOF(II) installed rectangular objects, the simulation results show that the lateral rollover is caused by the rear up-slope wheel when the inclination of terrain reaches 34°. The theoretical result relative to the simulation is only 2.90%. The maximum absolute percent difference of the contact force with the theoretical analysis relative to the simulation is only 2.50%. Simulation results validate the effectiveness of the proposed lateral rollover model in two conditions.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Mulching for Reducing Soil Erosion in Skid Trail Switchbacks

volume: 43, issue:

Forest operations can lead to increased runoff and soil loss on roads and skid trails. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of two erosion control treatments applied to different segments of skid trails following six natural rainfall events. A total of 162 plots 10 m long by 4 m wide were established in a Hyrcanian deciduous forest to assess soil runoff and soil loss following ground-based harvesting traffic. The experimental setup consisted of three levels of traffic intensity (three, eight and 16 skidder passes), two levels of slope gradient (≤20% and >20%), three classes of curvature (narrow = high deflection angle, 60°–70°; wide = low deflection angle, 110°–130°, and straight trail segments), and three classes of mulch cover (bare soil, sawdust cover, and rice straw cover). Each treatment combination was replicated three times, yielding 972 soil samples. The average surface runoff volume and soil loss differed significantly between the switchbacks and the straight trail segments and depended strongly on the degree of curvature, with severity of adverse effects increasing with curve tightness. Mulch cover treatments had a significant ameliorating effect on the surface runoff volume and soil loss throughout the skid trail. The average runoff and soil loss from the skid trails treated with sawdust cover (SC) (0.24 g m-2 (mm) and 0.49 g m-2, respectively) were lower than on trails covered with rice straw (RSC) (0.45 g m-2 and 1.19 g m-2, respectively), which were, in turn lower than on untreated bare soil (BS) trail segments (0.70 g m-2 and 2.31 g m-2, respectively). Surface runoff volume was significantly positively correlated with soil loss and both were positively correlated with dry bulk density and rut depth and negatively correlated with litter mass, total porosity, and macroporosity. Surface cover is a successful measure for controlling erosion losses following skidding disturbances, particularly in the switchback curves of trails on steep slopes where erosion potential is high.

Determining Bulk Factors for Three Subsoils Used in Forest Engineering in Slovenia

volume: 43, issue:

In Slovenia, torrent areas and forest roads are being regulated and built mostly in steep, erosion-prone areas. In addition to the geometry of extrapolated works, calculating bulk factors is key for estimating haulage masses. We have determined bulk factors for compact carbonate rock, mixed soil, and carbonate deposits. Each construction site was recorded with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) before the excavation and after every 4±2 m3 of excavated material. The average point cloud density was 9535 points/m2. We processed the point clouds from each construction site and determined the difference in volume between the volume of excavated area and the volume of deposited material. The average bulk factor for compact carbonate rock is 1.42, 1.20 for mixed soil and 1.15 for carbonate deposits (calculated for fully loaded eight-wheeled truck). The calculated bulk factors for soils and carbonate deposits match with the already established values, while the factor for compact rock is 20% lower than the factor currently in use by the Slovenian forest engineers.


Web of Science Impact factor (2022): 3.200
Five-years impact factor: 3.000

Quartile: Q1 - Forestry

Subject area

Agricultural and Biological Sciences