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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles containing the keyword 'skid trail slope'

Category: Research article

article id 908, category Research article
Sattar Ezzati, Akbar Najafi, M. A. Rab, Eric K. Zenner. (2012). Recovery of soil bulk density, porosity and rutting from ground skidding over a 20-year period after timber harvesting in Iran. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 4 article id 908.
Keywords: soil disturbance; timber harvesting; soil conservation; skid trail slope; mountainous forest
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Ground-based skidding can have detrimental effects on soil properties trough soil profile disturbance and compaction that can persist for decades. We investigated the recovery of physical properties of disturbed brown soils on four abandoned downhill skid trails in a deciduous mountain forest in northern Iran. The most recent skidding operations had taken place 1–5 yrs, 6–10 yrs, 11–15 yrs, and 16–20 yrs ago, providing a 20-year chronosequence with four 5-year recovery periods. For each recovery period, mean values for soil bulk density (BD), total porosity (TP), macroporosity (MP), soil moisture content (SM), and rut depth (RD) were assessed for three levels of traffic intensity (Primary (PS), Secondary (SS) and Tertiary (TS) skid trails) and two levels of slope gradients (Gentle (G) and Steep (S)) and compared to those in undisturbed (control) areas. Over the 20-year recovery period, PS trails on gentle slopes exhibited mean values that were 35–42% (BD), 3–7% (SM), and 13–19 cm (RD) greater and 18–24% (TP) and 19–28% (MP) lower compared to undisturbed areas; on steep PS trails, values were 40–46% (BD), 2–13% (SM), and 13–21 cm (RD) greater and 23–27% (TP) and 28–35% (MP) lower, respectively. While RD and SM recovered, 20 years was not long enough for the other physical soil properties, particularly on steep slopes. To minimize soil disturbance, skidding should be confined to areas with gentle slopes and alternative harvesting methods such as cable yarding should be used where slope gradients exceed 20%.
  • Ezzati, Department of Forestry and Forest Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, P.O. Box 64414-356, Iran E-mail:
  • Najafi, Department of Forestry and Forest Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, P. Box 64414-356, Iran E-mail: (email)
  • Rab, Soil Physics Future Farming Systems Research Division, Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia E-mail:
  • Zenner, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA E-mail:

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