Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2067/42537
Titolo: Efficiency of leaf litter mulch in the restoration of soil physiochemical properties and enzyme activities in temporary skid roads in mixed high forests
Autori: Jourgholami, Meghdad
Feghhi, Jahangir
Picchio, Rodolfo 
Tavankar, Farzam
Venanzi, Rachele 
Rivista: CATENA 
Data pubblicazione: 2021
Various engineering measures, such as mulching, have been applied on decommissioned skid trails to suppress the adverse effects of overland flow and flood hazards. However, very little research has been done on the effects of such treatments on soil recovery. The aim of this study is to determine the effectiveness of different leaf litter levels on the restoration of soil properties and enzyme activity, when spread on decommissioned skid trails over a four-year period after soil compaction. In total, 90 soil samples in 18 runoff plots were measured under six treatments, including undisturbed (control) treatment, UND; untreated skid trail, U; and four levels of leaf litter, LML1, LML2, LML3, and LML4, with levels of 0.42, 0.81, 1.31, and 1.69 kg m−2, respectively. Soil bulk density and penetration resistance under the litter mulch treatments were lower than that under the U treatment, and at the lowest in the UND treatment. The total porosity, macroporosity, and aggregate stability were at the highest level in UND, followed by LML4 ≈ LML3 > LML2 ≈ LML1. Soil organic C, total N, C/N ratio, C and N sequestration, available nutrients (i.e., P, K, Ca, and Mg), and fulvic and humic acids were at the highest level in UND followed by LML4, and at the lowest level in U followed by LML1 ≈ LML2. The highest earthworm density and dry mass, fine root biomass, soil microbial respiration, microbial biomass carbon, NH4+, NO3−, nitrogen mineralization, and microbial biomass nitrogen were measured in UND, followed by LML4. Compared with U, all litter mulch treatments enhanced enzyme activity. Four years after mulch application, the values of soil biological and microbial properties and enzyme activity were significantly higher in LML4 ≈ LML3 followed by LML2 ≈ LML1, compared to U, but were still lower than the values of the UND treatment. We can conclude that the increased levels of leaf litter mulch moderately improved soil physio-chemical, biological, and microbial properties, as well as enzyme activity, after mechanized operations over a four year period, compared to the U treatment. However, the values of soil properties and enzyme activity were still lower than those in the UND treatment, indicating that four years is not long enough to restore the soil properties to pre-harvest levels in the study area. In conclusion, leaf litter level of LML3 with 1.31 kg m−2 can be applied as an optimal level for spreading leaf litter on skid trails to modify and enhance soil quality.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2067/42537
ISSN: 0341-8162
DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2020.105012
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