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Open AccessArticle

Soil Disturbance and Recovery after Coppicing a Mediterranean Oak Stand: The Effects of Silviculture and Technology

1
Department of Agricultural and Forest Sciences, University of Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
2
Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, Università degli Studi di Padova, 35020 Legnaro, Padova, Italy
3
CNR Institute of Bioeconomy, Via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino FI, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4074; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104074
Received: 24 April 2020 / Revised: 11 May 2020 / Accepted: 12 May 2020 / Published: 15 May 2020
Traditional coppice management system is one of the most debated topics in the Mediterranean area, as it is a forest management system that accounts for over 23 million hectares. Coppicing is considered the oldest form of sustainable forest management. Its past and current widespread popularity is mainly due to its capacity to positively contribute to the rural economy and ecosystem services. This research aimed at assessing the effect of coppicing on soil characteristics, understanding a possible treatment return time, and evaluating the implementation of proper sustainable forest operations (SFOs) in order to have a better understanding of the disturbance caused by silvicultural treatment and forest operations with two different harvesting techniques. The results demonstrated that physical, chemical, and biological soil features were partially disturbed by the coppicing. Both silvicultural treatment and forest operations influenced soil disturbance. The least impactful technique was extraction by winch, while forwarding resulted in heavier alterations of soil characteristics. It took about five years for the soil to recover its original pre-harvest conditions when the disturbance was caused by the silvicultural treatment alone (non-trafficked areas) and about eight to nine years when the disturbance was the cumulated effect of silvicultural treatment and logging activity (trafficked areas). View Full-Text
Keywords: forest operation; skidding-winch; forwarding; soil resilience; Mediterranean area forest operation; skidding-winch; forwarding; soil resilience; Mediterranean area
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MDPI and ACS Style

Venanzi, R.; Picchio, R.; Spinelli, R.; Grigolato, S. Soil Disturbance and Recovery after Coppicing a Mediterranean Oak Stand: The Effects of Silviculture and Technology. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4074.

AMA Style

Venanzi R, Picchio R, Spinelli R, Grigolato S. Soil Disturbance and Recovery after Coppicing a Mediterranean Oak Stand: The Effects of Silviculture and Technology. Sustainability. 2020; 12(10):4074.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Venanzi, Rachele; Picchio, Rodolfo; Spinelli, Raffaele; Grigolato, Stefano. 2020. "Soil Disturbance and Recovery after Coppicing a Mediterranean Oak Stand: The Effects of Silviculture and Technology" Sustainability 12, no. 10: 4074.

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