volume: 32, issue: 2
volume: 36, issue: 2
volume: 38, issue: 1
volume: 39, issue: 2
The objective of this study was to compare forest soil bulk density values obtained through
conventional sampling methods such as the volumetric ring (VR: diameter 5 cm, length 10 cm)
and paraffin sealed clod (PSC), with a variation of the VR, where rectangular boxes (RB) of
four different dimensions were used. Sampling transects were established on a machine operating
trail located in a beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) stand in Northern Iran. At each
transect, three soil samples were collected at three different locations. Samples from different
methods were spaced by a 50 cm distance to avoid direct interactions. The soil class of our
study area was Combisols according to the WRB classification with a clay texture. Soil bulk
density differed significantly between the three sampling methods. The lowest values were
obtained with the RB (average 1.25 g cm-3), followed by the VR (average 1.40 g cm-3), and
lastly the PSC (average 1.52 g cm-3). The values obtained with four variations of the RB
method ranged from 1.22 to 1.28 g cm-3 and were not found significantly different. When soil
bulk density was calculated after the removal of the weight and volume of roots included in
the samples, the values were determined to be higher than before but with the same range of
magnitude. The lowest coefficient of variation was found for RB4 (CV=2.3%), while the highest
values were observed for VR and RB1 (CV=5.7%).
volume: 40, issue:
Effective skid-trail design requires a solid understanding of vehicle-soil interactions, yet virtually no data exist on the effects of harvest traffic on soils in the switchback curves common in mountainous terrain. We contrast for the first time the effect of skidding on dry bulk density, total porosity, macroporosity, and microporosity in the straight segments of the skid trail and in various positions within switchbacks of differing trail curvature (deflection angle) on different slope gradients. Treatment plots with three replications included combinations of two classes of curvature (narrow = high deflection angle, 60–70°; wide = low deflection angle, 110–130°) and two categories of slope gradient (gentle = ≤20%; steep = >20%). The Cambisol soil was sampled in control and trafficked areas both before and after three passes with a rubber-tired skidder. After only three passes, significant effects were seen for dry soil bulk density (+), total porosity (–), macroporosity (–), and microporosity (+), with steady trends from undisturbed controls to straight segments to wide curves to narrow curves. Soil damage increased gradually and consistently toward the apex of the curve, particularly in narrow curves on gentle slopes. Our results establish that curvature and switchback position are important factors affecting soil compaction in ground skidding. The strong observed effects of even low harvest traffic volume on soil physical properties in curves indicate that the degree of soil compaction in skid trails may be underestimated in areas with numerous switchbacks, the placement of which within a skid trail system may require careful consideration on mountainous terrain.
volume: 42, issue:
Soil physical and chemical properties can be seriously affected by forest operations. There is a knowledge gap on this topic for oak ecosystems, which can play a significant role in the context of multiple-use forestry.
The main objective of this study was to analyse forest floor and topsoil changes (0–10 cm) two years after the application of small-scale thinning (50% reduction of basal area) and clear-cut operations using mules to carry harvested material in a Northern Greece oak (Quercus frainetto Ten)ecosystem. The total amount of forest floor (O1+O2 horizons) was reduced by 37.8% in the thinned and 30.8% in the clear-cut plots compared to control plots. These large reductions are mainly due to reduction in the O2 horizon in the treated plots. Decomposition was reduced in the treated plots, possibly due to the new drier conditions. Treatments increased the soil pH but not to a significant extent. No evidence of erosion was found in the experimental plots due to the protective function of the forest floor and the use of designated mule trails. The areal extent of soil compaction was limited to only 3% of the total area mainly due to the careful planning and implementation of animal skidding. Small differences in C (%) and Ν (%) were found among control, thinned and clear-cut plots.
The limiting growth factors in Mediterranean oak ecosystems are soil depth and the seasonal change of soil moisture, especially during the summer dry period. More research on the definition of the optimum thinning degree and extraction systems in similar ecosystems will be important to satisfy the need to improve soil characteristics.
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.