Soil Temperature and Organic Matter in a Disturbed Forested Wetland
- W. Michael Aust and
- R. Lea
Soil temperature and organic-matter content are useful indices of ecosystem recovery after disturbance. This study was designed to evaluate soil temperature and organic-matter changes associated with different levels of disturbance within a forest wetland. Soil temperatures and organic-matter contents were monitored in a palustrine water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica L.)-baldcypress (Taxodium distichum [L.] Rich. var. disticum) wetland forest in southwestern Alabama for two growing seasons following timber-harvest-related disturbances. Three forms or levels of disturbance were applied: helicopter logging, rubber-tired skidder logging, and helicopter logging followed by herbicide application. An adjacent undisturbed stand served as a reference area. Analyses of post harvest data revealed that during the 2-yr postharvest period, soil temperatures in the reference area were coolest, helicopter and skidded areas were warmer, and herbicide plots had the warmest soil temperatures. Soil organic matter followed the same trend. Both parameters were related to vegetative cover and indicated recovery following timber harvest.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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