Interaction Among Machine Traffic, Soil Physical Properties and Loblolly Pine Root Prolifereation in a Piedmont Soil
The impact of forwarder traffic on soil physical properties was evaluated on a Gwinnett sandy loam, a commonly found soil of the Piedmont. Soil strength and saturated hydraulic conductivity were significantly altered by forwarder traffic, but reductions in air-filled porosity also occurred. Bulk density did not increase significantly in trafficked treatments. The greatest impacts to soil physical properties occurred in the surface layer. Loblolly pine root proliferation increased in both trafficked and untrafficked treatments but differed in the soil depth at which this occurred. Further investigations are necessary to understand the response of roots to machine traffic.