Evaluation of site impacts associated with three silvicultural prescriptions in an upland hardwood stand in northern Alabama, USA
Soil disturbance patterns and associated changes in soil physical status were measured in a study that evaluated the implementation of three alternative management prescriptions in an upland hardwood stand in northern Alabama, USA. Management prescriptions applied in this study consisted of a clear-cut, strip cut, and deferment cut that were compared to a non-harvested control. Final tabulations of disturbance types indicated disturbance to be similar in clear-cut and deferment cut treatments with less disturbance in strip cut sites. Soil physical response varied by soil property but, in general, as disturbance intensity increased, soil physical properties responded accordingly. Bulk densities were elevated to the highest degree in the clear-cut sites while soil strength as indicated by cone index measurements attained its highest levels in the deferment cut. These differences were thought to be due to differences in trafficking patterns related to the implementation of each management prescription.