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13 November 2013 Long-term soil response to variable-retention harvesting in the EMEND (Ecosystem Management Emulating Natural Disturbance) experiment, northwestern Alberta
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Abstract

Kishchuk, B. E., Quideau, S., Wang, Y. and Prescott, C. 2014. Long-term soil response to variable-retention harvesting in the EMEND (Ecosystem Management Emulating Natural Disturbance) experiment, northwestern Alberta. Can. J. Soil Sci. 94: 263-279. We report on soil responses to variable-retention (VR) harvesting from a large-scale experiment (>1000 ha). Samples were taken prior to treatment, and 1 and 6 yr after treatment under cover types representing the successional trajectory for boreal mixedwood forests in northwestern Alberta, Canada. Variable-retention harvesting at six overstory-retention levels [100 (control), 75, 50, 20, 10, and 0% (clearcut)] were applied to 10-ha experimental units under four cover types: deciduous-dominated (80-95% trembling aspen); deciduous-dominated with coniferous understory (80-95% trembling aspen with white spruce understory at 60-80% of full stocking); mixed coniferous-deciduous (35-65% of each); and coniferous-dominated (80-95% white spruce). Only a few clear differences in soil properties attributable to VR harvesting were evident 6 yr post-harvest: (1) both extractable NH4-N in forest floor and 0-7 cm mineral-soil, and forest floor exchangeable K decreased with increasing canopy removal, and (2) forest floor exchangeable Ca increased with canopy removal. There was a decreasing trend in forest floor and mineral soil C (kg ha-1) in undisturbed stands between 1998 and 2005. Differences in soil properties among cover types included higher pH and N concentration in forest floors, and higher cation exchange capacity and exchangeable Ca and Mg in mineral soils in deciduous-dominated stands. Deciduous-dominated stands appear to have distinct soil properties that change under stand development.

Barbara E. Kishchuk, Sylvie Quideau, Yonghe Wang, and Cindy Prescott "Long-term soil response to variable-retention harvesting in the EMEND (Ecosystem Management Emulating Natural Disturbance) experiment, northwestern Alberta," Canadian Journal of Soil Science 94(3), 263-279, (13 November 2013). https://doi.org/10.1139/CJSS2013-034
Received: 23 April 2013; Accepted: 1 October 2013; Published: 13 November 2013
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