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Title: Soil loss and run-off in young forest stands as affected by site preparation technique: a study in NE Portugal
Authors: Figueiredo, Tomás de
Fonseca, Felícia
Martins, Afonso
Keywords: Run-off
Site preparation
Castanea sativa
Pseudotsuga menziesii
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Figueiredo, Tomás de; Fonseca, Felicia; Martins, Afonso (2011) - Soil loss and run-off in young forest stands as affected by site preparation technique: a study in NE Portugal. European Journal of Forest Research. ISSN 1612-4669. 131:6, p. 1747-1760
Abstract: Soil loss rates currently recorded in forests are very low. Nevertheless, that may not be the case during stand installation and early tree growth stage, when soil is disturbed and scarcely covered. Site preparation techniques, performed to improve soil conditions for plant growth, should help reducing this erosion potential. In this study, several site preparation techniques were applied prior to installing a mixed stand (Pseudotsuga mensiezii and Castanea sativa) and a subsequent monitoring scheme of run-off and soil loss ran for 2 years in order to compare their effectiveness for erosion control. The experimental area, near Macedo de Cavaleiros, NE Portugal, at 700 m elevation, with annual means of 656 mm rainfall and 12 C temperature, has Mediterranean climatic conditions. Experimental design comprised three blocks, corresponding to different topographical positions (near flat plateau, moderate slope shoulder and steep mid-slope), where eight treatments were randomly distributed in plots with 375 m2 area: (1) Original soil control (no intervention on the original abandoned field); (2) No subsoiling, no ploughing, plantation with hole digger; (3) Subsoiling over the whole area, with covering shovel; (4) No subsoiling, contour bunds shaped by two plough passes; (5) Subsoiling in future plantation rows, contour bunds shaped by two plough passes; (6) Subsoiling over the whole area, contour bunds shaped by two plough passes; (7) Subsoiling over the whole area, contour ploughing over the whole area; and (8) Potential erosion (subsoiling over the whole area, ploughing downhill). Sediment and water exported from small plots (2.5 m2 average area), two replicates per treatment and block, were collected after each rainfall erosion event, in a total of 21, summing 1,876-mm precipitation in 2 years. Mean annual run-off and soil loss in the original soil were 3.4 mm and 11.6 g m-2, respectively. In treatments 2–7, values were higher 3–7 times, for run-off, and 5–12 times, for soil loss. Potential erosion averages 2.3 t ha-1 year-1. Soil loss and run-off tend to increase with tillage intensity associated with site preparation technique, even though average two-year losses, in all cases, are below tolerable rates. Soil loss and run-off rates decreased with time, becoming globally negligible after 2 years. Slight and moderate soil disturbance intensity site preparation techniques reduce erosion rates to 30% of potential erosion, halving the critical period when above tolerance rates may occur.
Peer review: yes
ISSN: 1612-4669
Appears in Collections:ARN - Artigos em Revistas Indexados ao ISI/Scopus

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