Picchio Rodolfo, PhD.

Mechanized Harvesting of Eucalypt Coppice for Biomass Production Using High Mechanization Level

volume: 33, issue: 1

Small Scale Mechanization of Thinning in Artificial Coniferous Plantation (p. 11-21)

volume: 31, issue: 1

Productivity and Energy Balance in Conversion of a Quercus Cerris L. Coppice Stand into High Forest in Central Italy (p.15-26)

volume: 30, issue: 1

Effects of Cutting Patterns of Shears on Occlusion Processes in Pruning of High-Quality Wood Plantations

volume: 34, issue: 2

Effects of Forwarder Operation on Soil Physical Characteristics: a Case Study in the Italian Alps

volume: 37, issue: .2

Effects of Logging Wounds on Caucasian Alder Trees (Alnus subcordata C.A. Mey.) in Iranian Caspian Forests

volume: 38, issue: 1

Study of Forest Road Effect on Tree Community and Stand Structure in Three Italian and Iranian Temperate Forests

volume: 39, issue: 1

Roads are built in forests for two main reasons, but always in function of management of forest
ecosystems, and these reasons are to provide access to the forest area for transportation
mobility and wood extraction. This creates a relatively even network in the forest. This topic
has received much attention in recent years due to its function and effect on forested rural
landscapes and the related environment. Forest road network is important for various types
of functional use, such as the interface between forested lands and roads. The aim of this study
is to assess the effects of road existence and use on the occurrence of tree dieback and on the
composition of the tree community in three forest areas (two in Italy and one in Iran). The
effort to determine the dynamics of the effects caused by road use was done by examining the
changes in stand structure and abundance of species. As demonstrated by the results, the
edges (20 m) of the forest road network are a fine mosaic composed of different trees (qualitative
and quantitative), coupled with the moderate presence of dead trees. In the three areas, from
the road edges to the interior forest, a similar taxonomic composition of forest community was
found. The first main difference was related to the abundance of less shadow tolerant species
along the road. The second main difference was related to the tree biodiversity indices that are
higher along the road. The main similarities are in the structure of live and dead trees.

Effectiveness of Three Post-Harvest Rehabilitation Treatments for Runoff and Sediment Reduction on Skid Trails in the Hyrcanian Forests

volume: 41, issue:

Ground-based skidding operations can lead to soil compaction and displacement, which could cause negative effects on forest soil. Hence, some efforts such as forestry best management practices (BMPs) must be implemented in the prone area to mitigate these possible impacts. Several materials and treatments have been adopted to suppress these adverse effects by increasing the ground cover. However, the effects of mulch treatments on runoff and sediment yield are inconclusive with a diverse range of effectiveness. For these reasons, in this research mulch treatments were tested as to determine how the application of organic mulch amendments such as straw and leaf litter and contour-felled logs would alleviate the runoff and sediment yield on machine operating trails and ensure successful hillslope stabilization. The aims of the study were to analyse and compare the effectiveness of leaf litter (LM) and straw mulch (SM) rate and different distances of contour-felled logs (CFL) to mitigate the runoff and sediment yield, and examine the impact of rainfall intensity on effectiveness of litter mulch, straw mulch, and contour-felled logs. Totally, 30 bounded runoff plots in the machine operating trails and four treatments including litter mulch (LMR1: 0.62, LMR2: 1.24, and LMR3: 1.86 kg m-2), straw mulch (SMR1: 0.45, SMR2: 0.92, and SMR3: 1.34 kg m-2), contour-felled logs (CFL10: 10, CFL20: 20, and CFL30: 30 m), and untreated area were established in triplicate with 4 m width and 100 m length. During the study period, the runoff and sediment yield in the untreated trails (U) were 2.36 mm and 11.84 g m-2. Straw (from 41.5 to 60.6%) and litter mulch (from 38.1 to 55.1%), and contour-felled logs treatments (from 70.8 to 88.1%) significantly decreased the runoff, compared to U treatment. Results show that mulch treatments with three different levels of Litter Mulch Rate, LMR1, LMR2, and LMR3 decreased mean sediment by 46.6, 64.0 and 71.8%, in the treatments with three different levels of Straw Mulch Rate, SMR1, SMR2, and SMR3 decreased mean sediment by 42.9, 62.1, and 69.9%, and in the treatments with three different distances of Contour-Felled Logs, CFL10, CFL20, and CFL30 decreased mean sediment by 90.6, 94.7 and 88.3% comparing to U, respectively. The relationships of the runoff and sediment responses to increasing mulching rate of litter and straw followed as negative logarithmic curves, but the decreasing-increasing trends were observed in runoff and sediment yield as the distance between contour-felled logs increased from 10 to 30 m. Polynomial regression equations were developed for predicting the runoff and sediment yield as a function of the application rate of litter and straw mulch and the distance between contour-felled logs, and rainfall intensity. We concluded that contour-felled logs treatment was more effective than both litter and straw mulch to mitigate the runoff, runoff coefficient, and sediment yield on machine operating trails. As a management measure, it could be possible to propose that the contour-felled logs with a distance of 20 m be prescribed to protect the machine operating trails from the negative effects of surface waterflow.

Determining Harvester Productivity Curves of Thinning Operations in Birch Stands of Central Europe

volume: 43, issue:

Silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) is a popular tree species forming stands in nearly the whole of Europe. In Poland, birch is one of the most representative broadleaved species growing on rather poor soils, very often as a mix species with Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). In Central Europe, birch forms trunk often with sweeps, and at the older age with thick branches. Due to that, a harvester thinning operation in birch stands can be challengeable when trying to process logs from the top part of trees, which can finally impact on productivity. The objective of this research was to determine harvester productivity for birch with particular attention to production of logs from the top part of a tree. The research was carried out in stands of North and North-West Poland. All together 21 tests were completed in 16 stands, in which 9 harvesters were used (8 different models). The mean diameter of harvested trees was 23.7 cm with the mean height of 21.7 m. Obtained productivity without delays was on average 21.98 m3 h-1 and varied from as low as 5.14 to maximum 44.66 m3 h-1, and depended mainly on harvested tree size. It was also confirmed that top diameter of the last log depended on diameter at breast height (DBH). The model developed based on that relationship can be used for prediction of biomass volume from birch stands when harvesters are used for thinning.

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.

A Meta-Analysis to Evaluate the Reliability of Depth-to-Water Maps in Predicting Areas Particularly Sensitive to Machinery-Induced Soil Disturbance

volume: 45, issue: 2

The careful planning of the extraction routes is one of the most important best management practices to limit soil disturbance related to ground-based forest operations. Over the recent years, this task has been commonly addressed in the framework of boreal forestry, by developing soil trafficability maps based on the depth-to-water (DTW) topographic index. The basic concept of trafficability maps developed with the DTW index is that soils at low DTW index, namely <1, could be more prone to soil compaction and rutting as they tend to have higher moisture content. However, previous studies that tried to assess the reliability of these maps reported contrasting results. Therefore, the present meta-analysis was developed to evaluate if soils at low DTW index (≤1) are actually more sensitive to soil compaction and rutting than soils at higher DTW index (>1). A database was created containing all the studies that assessed soil compaction and rutting in soils at low DTW index (experimental treatment) and high DTW index (control treatment), and a multivariate meta-analysis was used to check the presence of statistically significant effect size. Then the influence on the effect size of variables like soil texture, number of machine passage and weight of the machine, was checked by applying sub-group meta-analysis and meta-regression. Finally, a sensitivity analysis was performed by removing possible outliers from the database and repeating the analyses. No statistical differences were found in soil compaction and rutting severity in areas at low DTW index in comparison to the control areas (DTW index ≥1). The results showed that soil texture, number of machine passage and weight of the machine did not have a significant influence on the effect size. The sensitivity analysis developed after removing outliers from the database fully confirmed the obtained results. Thus our meta-analysis showed that the DTW index in its current form is not a fully reliable predictor of soil areas that could be particularly sensitive to machinery-induced disturbance. It is therefore recommended to use the DTW index to create trafficability maps, always taking into account that the results of the algorithms should be validated in the field before starting harvesting operations.


Web of Science Impact factor (2023): 2.7
Five-years impact factor: 2.3

Quartile: Q1 - Forestry

Subject area

Agricultural and Biological Sciences