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Effect of Compaction on Physical and Micromorphological Properties of Forest Soils

Author(s): Mehdi Akef | Farhad Khormali | Iraj Bagheri | Samira Bahram Kalhori

Journal: Advances in Molecular Imaging
ISSN 2161-6728

Volume: 03;
Issue: 01;
Start page: 159;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Soil Compaction | Forest Soils | Soil Physical | Micromorphological Properties

The objective of this research was to assess the effect of skidding machinery on soil physical and micromorphological properties. The different positions (control or non-traffic areas, left wheel track, right wheel track and log track) and two soil depths (0 - 10 and 10 - 20 cm) in three repetitions were investigated. The results showed that average soil dry bulk density in four positions and two soil depths were significantly different. Comparison of average total porosity percentage and soil saturated hydraulic conductivity revealed that there were significant differences in four positions and two soil depths. Soil thin section studies using Image Tool software showed that in compacted samples there was an increase in the number of vughs voids and channels voids were in low occurrence. Micromorphological studies showed that soil compaction caused void size to decrease. In compacted samples voids bigger than 10 μm were very rare and dominant voids size was 2 μm. In compacted samples soil structure were damaged and aggregates were compressed. Also soil matrix was compressed and microstructure was massive. Results from this study confirmed that skidding machinery had a significant effect on soil physical and morphological properties. These changes causes soil and environmental degradation due to reduction in water infiltration increasing soil erosion risk.

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