Effect of harvest intensity on soil carbon and nutrients across global forests: a meta-analysis
Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry
DisciplineNatural Resources Management
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Logging residues can retain important nutrients for tree growth after biomass harvesting. However, increasing the harvest intensity may decrease soil nutrient stores stocks and affect biomass productivity. Using 2207 observations from 51 published studies and 2207 observations in boreal, temperate and tropical forests, we assessed how soil carbon (C) and macronutrients (N, P, K, Ca, Mg) of regenerating stands respond to increasing harvest intensity from double slash (DS) to stem-only harvesting (SOH) to whole-tree harvesting (WTH). Our meta-analysis reveals that forest harvesting has diverse effects on soil C, N and P, depending on elements, stocks vs. concentrations, soil layer, and harvesting intensity. We found that compared with SOH, WTH reduced carbon C and nitrogen N stocks in the forest floor, but not in the mineral soil, and had similarly negative effects on the concentrations of phosphorus P in the forest floor and mineral soil; DS had stronger positive effects on Magnesium concentrations in mineral soil compares to SOH.