The projcet 'A multi-disciplinary approach to reduce soil disturbance related to forwarder traffic at final felling' started i 2012 and ended in 2014.
Strategies to reduce soil damage from off-road driving in forest operations were studied in a unique multi-disciplinary study involving soil physics, biochemistry, operational efficiency, and stakeholder perspectives. Soil disturbance caused by forwarder traffic was studied on plots in recharge, mid-slope and discharge areas along clearcut hill slopes in a randomized block design. Treatments included no driving, driving, driving on slash and driving on soil bridges, the latter two representing typical measures for mitigating soil damage in operational forestry.
Soil compaction, rut depth, fuel and time consumption as well as soil biochemical processes were quantified with emphasis on mercury, carbon and nitrogen. This will help developing guidelines on how to plan off-road operations efficiently in terms of technique, cost and environmental impact. Social structures and attitudes within the forest sector towards soil disturbance in off-road operations were investigated to identify the potential for improving current management practices.
The project was financed by FORMAS. The total budget was 4 MSEK. SLU contributed with 1 MSEK.
Participating from the Department were Kevin Bishop and Karin Eklöf.
External partner was Skogforsk.