Impact of thinning on soil properties and biomass in Apalachicola National Forest, FloridaThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The effect of a silvicultural operation, row thinning at two intensities (single row, SR, and double row, DR, thinning), on soil properties and biomass were investigated in selected 28 year-old slash pine (Pinus elliotti) plantations in the Apalachicola National Forest. Stands were thinned in May 2011 and burn regimes were executed during dormant seasons. Indicators of changes in soil physical properties and biomass were evaluated in this work. Response variables included soil bulk density, stand basal area, and biomass. Stand basal area was consistently highest across locations in the control treatments ranging from 21 to 31 m2 ha-1. In two locations, SR treatment had the greatest DBH and DGL values and was significantly different (p > 0.05) in location 2. The average soil bulk density at two depths, 0 and 15 cm were 1.51 g cm-3, 1.49 g cm-3, and 1.44 g cm-3, and 1.62 g cm-3, 1.64 g cm-3, and 1.62 g cm-3 for the SR, DR and control treatments, respectively with no significant treatment effects observed. Varying results in understory biomass was detected with as much as 30 percent and 24 percent reduction for SR and DR respectively at location 2 while there was a 3 percent and 15 percent increase for SR and DR respectively at location 1. Aboveground biomass had significant reduction (p > 0.05) due to treatment effects with a range of 12 percent to 36 percent for SR and 42 percent to 51 percent for DR across locations.