Memorias de investigación
Communications at congresses:
Soil compaction and vegetation cover in a Scots pine stand at the Mediterranean rangelands

Research Areas
  • Soil science,
  • Silviculture,
  • Ecology

Compaction usually alters soil physical conditions by increasing bulk density and decreasing soil porosity. This effect leads to changes in the normal fluxes of air and water within the soil, and thus modifies edaphic microclimate. Moreover, high levels of soil compaction may also prevent right root development. Therefore soil compaction has to be considered with regard to natural regeneration processes, especially concerning the germination and the upgrowth stages, when individual?s fragility reaches its maximum level. Soil compaction has been typically evaluated in forest research in connection with severe disturbances derived from heavy machinery works during forest operations. Nevertheless, undisturbed soils naturally offer different levels of compaction for root development. When regarding root growth, effects of soil compaction can be properly indicated by Soil Strength measurements. This variable is usually evaluated by mean of a penetrometer (PEN) that is forced into the soil to measure its resistance to vertical penetration. Resulting estimations tend to be crudely related to soil resistance as encountered by roots. This communication aims at analyzing soil compaction by means of its resistance to penetration, within an uneven-aged natural stand of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), ?Monte Cabeza de Hierro?, located in the southern border area of the species range (Spanish Sistema Central range) and planning based on floating periodic block method and shelterwood regeneration system. Soil strength was measured by a RIMIK CP20 cone penetrometer, in 192 sampled points split up in four blocks under different expositions (NE, NW, SE, SW). Within each block, sampling points were distributed along different land cover plots (grass, shrubs, debris) and beneath a wide range of stand densities evaluated by means of fisheye photographs and Basal Area inventories in round plots (r=15m). Additionally, soil moisture was measured in each sampling point using a TDR sensor. Measured Soil Strength mean values at 0-15cm depth, ranged from 257,3 to 2070,3 kPa ( = 1134,7 kPa ? 348,6) with mean humidity of 12,2% ?6,4. Within study area, stand density (either measured as Basal Area per ha or %GAP fraction) is significantly correlated (p-value<0,01) with Soil Strength in surface soil layers (0-25cm). Calculated Pearson correlation coefficients sharply decrease with depth and tend to be low in modulus (R0-15cm= - 0,45**, R15-20cm= - 0,20*) due to the multifactoriality of the studied process. Regarding to land cover, our results suggest that only the grass cover percentage (R0-15cm= - 0,40**), the debris cover percentage (R0-15cm= - 0,33**) and the debris depth (R0-15cm= - 0,47**) significantly influence Soil Strength measurements.
Restoring forests: advances in techniques and theory, IUFRO meeting
Madrid, Spain
Start Date
End Date
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Restoring forests: advances in techniques and theory: Abstract Book

Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Ecología y Gestión Forestal Sostenible
  • Departamento: Silvopascicultura