Many parameters can influence the weight of harvesting residues per hectare that remain on plantation sites after extracting sawlogs and pulpwoods. This study aimed at quantifying the impact of the cut-to-length and whole-tree harvesting methods on the weight of harvesting residues using 26 case studies in Australian plantations. A database was created using case studies conducted in different plantations, to measure the weight of harvesting residues per hectare and the components of harvesting residues. An analysis of variance was applied to test the impact made by the harvesting methods. The results confirmed that the cut-to-length harvesting method produced a larger weight of residues (104.0 tonnes of wet matter per hectare (tWM/ha) without additional biomass recovery and 64.7 tWM/ha with additional biomass recovery after sawlog/pulpwood extraction) than the whole-tree harvesting method (12.5 tWM/ha). The fraction test showed that stem wood formed the largest proportion of the harvesting residues in cut-to-length sites and needles were the largest component of the pine harvesting residues in sites cleared by the whole-tree harvesting method. The outcomes of this study could assist plantation managers to set proper strategies for harvesting residues management. Future research could study the impact of product type, silvicultural regime, stand quality, age, equipment, etc., on the weight of harvesting residues.
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