The aim of this work was to assess the possible impacts on the forest soil and stand due to silvicultural treatment and forest operations in a beech high forest. Evenaged beech forests (Fagus sylvatica L.) in the Municipality of Cappadocia (AQ) and in the Municipality of Vallepietra (RM) were analyzed. The analysis on soil and stand were performed in order to assess the effects attributable to applied silviculture and forest logging. Two different logging methodologies (in particular for the extraction) were applied: mules were used in the areas with greater slopes and with obstacles, while for the areas with better accessibility, mechanical means were used, in this case tractors. In detail, the main objective was to assess the disturbs on the ground and on the stand, generated by the two different levels of mechanisation. In addition, it was also interesting to understand the possible effect on the soil specifically referred to the partial uncovering by removing part of the tree canopy. Only through an accurate cross-analysis of the studied parameters and indices, it was possible to highlight the anthropogenic impacts on the soil and stand due to forest operations in consideration of the different logging methodologies applied. The main results showed that the disturbs caused to the soil and stand were essentially caused in the bunching and extraction operations. The importance of avoiding or limiting the continuous passage of vehicles and animals on forest soil clearly emerges, especially in conditions of high soil moisture. It is also important to use correct technologies in fuction of the specific environmental characteristics and of the work planning. Finally, it is possible to state that, in substance, from the comparison carried out that a real disturbs difference did not exist referring to the two logging methodologies. Comparing the findings of this study with other researches, it was possible to highlight that substantial differences, in terms of improvement, can be obtained only applying different mechanisation in conjunction with a different logging system.
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Title: Disturbs to the ground and to the stand in beech forest due to thinning treatment performed by different levels of mechanisation
Published: 13 November 2020 by MDPI in The 1st International Electronic Conference on Forests — Forests for a Better Future: Sustainability, Innovation, Interdisciplinarity session Forest and Urban Forest Sustainability
Keywords: forest logging; soil; beech forest; impacts; sustainable forest management