Impact of forest biomass for energy harvesting on soil compaction - Irish case study

Josef Pohořalý, R. Klvač, T. Kent, M. Kleibl, E. Coates, B. Horgan

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An assessment of soil compaction caused by machinery used in stump and/or logging residue extraction for energy on soils typical of Ireland. We determined unaffected soil conditions and to find the compaction grade after timber harvesting and bundling activities, and to compare those results with stands where timber harvesting was followed by stump extraction for energy. Th e investigation was carried out in Ireland on three different locations which had a slightly different proportion of stones in their soils. Two of the soils were purely mineral soils, and the third was a mineral soil affected by anthropogenic activities. To ensure comparable results as much as possible, the moisture content of the soil on wet basis was investigated. Each location was purposely treated. Th erefore, on each location plots were identified as follows: plots unaffected by operation (reference area), plots after timber harvesting, plots after timber harvesting and bundling operation, and plots after timber harvesting and stump extraction operation. According to the experimental design 40 repetitions on each of the three different treatments were set. Th e results showed that the compaction of soil occurred on plots after timber harvesting, but there was not a significant difference between compaction grades with and without logging residue bundling operation. However, once the site was extracted of stumps, the soil became too loose and no significant difference was found compared to unaffected soil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-533
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Forest Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Mineral soil
  • Moisture content
  • Penetration resistance
  • Soil compaction
  • Stump extraction


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