Harvest influences on floodwater properties in a forested floodplain
Floodplain forests directly influence water quality by serving as sinks, sources, or transformers of nutrients. Increases in the demand for timber raise the question of how silvicultural disturbance may affect this function. The objective of this research was to compare biogeochemical relationships between undisturbed vs. disturbed conditions in a floodplain forest. A randomized complete block design consisting of three blocks and two treatments (partial harvest and undisturbed) was installed on the Flint River floodplain, Georgia. The partial cut was conducted during September-October 1993. Automated water samplers were situated to sample during flood events as sheetflow entered and exited treatment plots during the 1994, 1996 and 1996 flood seasons. Pre- vs. postcontact comparisons indicated that the undisturbed floodplain has minimal influence on water chemistry at this scale of measurement. Although the partial harvest on an 8-ha scale had minimal effect upon sheetflow water chemistry for three years following harvest, the data suggest that harvests may stimulate a minorincrease in Ca and K sink activity.