Wet-weather timber harvesting and site preparation effects on coastal plain sites: a review
Increased interest in sustainable forestry has intensified the need for information o nthe interaction of forest soils, harvesting methods, site disturbances, and the efficacy of methods for amelio rating disturbances. On wet pine flats, such as those commonly found in the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains, conditions such as frequent rainfall, low relief, and poor internal soil drainage often predispose forest soils to harvest disturbances and potential damage. Typical forest operations use heavy logging equipment, such as rubber-tired feller-bunches and skidders. During dry soil conditions, these machines cause little soil disturbance, but under moist to saturated conditions, such operations may compact soils and interfere with normal soil drainage. Many studies have been conducted to characterize soil disturbance and site preparation effects on tree seedling survival and growth and to evaluate the amelioration effect of site preparation disturbed soils. However, results are somtimes contradictory due to site specificity, and results have not been summarized in the context of pine plantation management. this article summarizes previous research results of the wet-weather harvesting and bedding effects on soil properties as related to loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) productivity for a variety of Coastal Plain region sites types.