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Comparing Terrain and Roadside Chipping in Mediterranean Pine Salvage Cuts

Author(s): Enrico Marchi | Natascia Magagnotti | Lisa Berretti | Francesco Neri | Raffaele Spinelli

Journal: Croatian Journal of Forest Engineering
ISSN 1845-5719

Volume: 32;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 587;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: biomass | logistics | productivity | economics | salvage cuts | Mediterranean

In central Italy, the increasing demand for fuel chips and the epidemic spread of maritime pine bast scale have favored the development of large-scale industrial logging operations. After years of extensive commercial trials, local operators have developed their own industrial harvesting systems, through a wise mix of Scandinavian and North American methods. The result is original and effective, and allows keeping harvesting cost below 20 € gt^–1. The study compared terrain chipping with roadside chipping, as applied to the coastal pine stands of Tuscany. Under the conditions of our study, roadside chipping was over four times more productive than terrain chipping, and it allowed reducing harvesting cost by one third (12.3 vs. 18.3 € gt^–1). Despite the intense use of diesel, total fossil energy inputs accounted for less than 3% of the potential energy in the wood chips. Terrain chipping and roadside chipping yielded 36 and 47 times the energy they used, respectively. The coexistence of the two systems was most interesting. The harvesting systems described in the study perform best in clear-cuts, but they can also work in partial cuts, including thinning operations. They are actually used in thinnings in the same Regional Park of San Rossore, although their productivity is lower than in clear-cuts.

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