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Article

Soil Disturbance Effects from Tethered Forwarding on Steep Slopes in Brazilian Eucalyptus Plantations

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Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Virginia Tech, 310 W Campus Dr., Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA
2
Operational Development Coordinator, Operational Development, Suzano, Km 84 Rod Gen Euryale de Jesus Zerbine, Jacareí, São Paulo 12340-010, Brazil
3
Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Virginia Tech, 310 W Campus Dr., Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(9), 721; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090721
Received: 5 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 19 August 2019 / Published: 22 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Traditional timber harvests on steep slopes have been conducted through labor-intensive and sometimes environmentally impactful methods, such as manual felling with chainsaws and extraction using bladed skid trails, winching, or cable yarding. Ground-based mechanized harvesting and primary transportation methods such as cut-to-length harvesters and forwarders have emerged in some parts of the world as low-impact, safe, and efficient alternatives to the aforementioned systems. However, when mechanized operations are used on steep terrain, problems such as poor stability, loss of traction, and increased soil disturbance can occur. Tethered or winch-assisted logging practices are being tested and applied in several countries to adapt to challenges associated with operating equipment on steep slopes while minimizing environmental impact. To better understand the feasibility of these systems, we conducted a designed experiment to quantify changes in soil properties and predicted erosion resulting from varying numbers of passes and payload levels by a forwarder operating on slopes ranging from 27 to 38 degrees. The machine was equipped with two different track configurations, tethered by either a machine-mounted or self-contained winch, in eucalyptus plantations in Brazil. On low slopes, bulk density significantly increased, but it did not increase on steeper slopes; this demonstrates traction winches’ effectiveness at reducing concentrated ground pressures. Rut depths were minimal and decreased with increasing slope classes due to reduced track slippage. Predicted erosion rates were high, primarily due to the extremely steep, long slopes and lack of adequate cover in some portions of the trail, illustrating the importance of proper erosion management practices on steep slopes. View Full-Text
Keywords: tethered logging; cable-assisted logging; steep slope logging; soil impacts; bulk density; erosion; rut depth; Brazil; forwarder; cut-to-length tethered logging; cable-assisted logging; steep slope logging; soil impacts; bulk density; erosion; rut depth; Brazil; forwarder; cut-to-length
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MDPI and ACS Style

Garren, A.M.; Bolding, M.C.; Aust, W.M.; Moura, A.C.; Barrett, S.M. Soil Disturbance Effects from Tethered Forwarding on Steep Slopes in Brazilian Eucalyptus Plantations. Forests 2019, 10, 721. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090721

AMA Style

Garren AM, Bolding MC, Aust WM, Moura AC, Barrett SM. Soil Disturbance Effects from Tethered Forwarding on Steep Slopes in Brazilian Eucalyptus Plantations. Forests. 2019; 10(9):721. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090721

Chicago/Turabian Style

Garren, Austin M., M. Chad Bolding, W. Michael Aust, Angelo C. Moura, and Scott M. Barrett. 2019. "Soil Disturbance Effects from Tethered Forwarding on Steep Slopes in Brazilian Eucalyptus Plantations" Forests 10, no. 9: 721. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090721

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