Region, Country
Grand Est, France

Local land use
Forest

Soil type
Luvisol (ruptic)

Environmental zone
Continental

Partner
INRAE

Nancy Forest: Azerailles & Clermont en Argonne Case Study

It belongs to the research infrastructure ANAEE France. The site was clear-cut over a 5-ha surface area, and logs were removed using a cable yarding system to avoid soil disturbance (control) in 2006. Then, in May 2007, it was divided into three blocks according to soil description and analysis (18 soil pits). Each treatment was randomly assigned into blocks (randomized block design) with each plot (block × treatment) measuring 30 × 50. The control plots were left undisturbed, whereas at the traffic treatments, a forwarder (Valmet 840, serial number 9146, Valmet Logging, Sweden) was driven for an equivalent of two passes (one back and one forth). The wheel tracks were adjacent to each other to create equally levelled compacted areas. In both cases, the tyres were inflated to 360 kPa. The same forwarder was used at both sites (azerailles and clermont). The number of wood logs transported was reduced at the CA site as the soils were wetter than at the AZ site. The loaded forwarder weighed 23 t and 17 t at the AZ and CA sites, respectively, in order to obtain similar vertical contact stress. The simulated mean vertical contact stress was 156 and 153 kPa at AZ and CA, respectively.

Objectives

Both sites are dedicated to studying the impact of soil compaction on (i) the growth and health of forest vegetation which may be disturbed as roots struggle to reach deeper soil layers and, thus, suffer disturbed nutritional, aeration and hydric status, (ii) as well as biogeomical cycles and soil and vegetation biodiversity.

Local focus

Forest management practices whithin the framework of global changes, especially the consequencies of an increased demand of wood for energy, bio-products which may have a strong impact on the fonctionning of forest ecosystems through an increased harvest of wood (includings branches and leaves), and an increased mechanisation. Local and national stakeholders have been involved into the BENCHMARK workshop in december.

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