Compacted soil has lower water infiltration and hydraulic conductivity, which contributes to increased runoff and erosion on slopes. The aim of the present study was to assess runoff and sediment on three skidding trail longitudinal gradients (15%, 25%, and 35%) and different levels of machine traffic (low, medium, and high), over a two-year period following the impact in the Hyrcanian forest, Iran. The results show that trail gradient and traffic intensity have a significant effect on soil bulk density and total porosity on the skid trails. The average runoff amount varied significantly among trail gradients and ranged from 1.59 mm on the 15% trail gradient and 2.76 mm on the 25% trail gradient, to 4.76 mm on the 35% trail gradient in the low traffic intensity. Average sediment also increased significantly with increasing trail gradient. Average sediment was 0.01 kg m−2
, 0.03 kg m−2
, and 0.05 kg m−2
on the low traffic intensity in the first year for the 15%, 25%, and 35% trail gradients, respectively. The largest runoff and sediment occurred in the first year and stressed the need for applying forestry Best Management Practices such as the use of brush mats during harvesting operations, as well as the installation of water diversion structures or seeding immediately after initial soil compaction and disturbance, in order to protect the bare soil from heavy rainfall.
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