Impact of Site Disturbances from Harvesting and Logging on Soil Physical Properties and Pinus kesiya Tree GrowthReport as inadecuate

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International Scholarly Research Notices - Volume 2014 2014, Article ID 323626, 7 pages -

Research ArticleMalawi College of Forestry and Wildlife, Private Bag 6, Dedza, Malawi

Received 3 March 2014; Revised 13 May 2014; Accepted 21 May 2014; Published 16 July 2014

Academic Editor: Silvia Imhoff

Copyright © 2014 Edward Missanjo and Gift Kamanga-Thole. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A study was conducted to determine the impacts of soil disturbance and compaction on soil physical properties and tree growth and the effectiveness of tillage in maintaining or enhancing site productivity for intensively managed Pinus kesiya Royle ex Gordon sites in Dedza, Malawi. The results indicate that about fifty-two percent of the area of compacted plots was affected by the vehicular traffic. Seventy percent of the trees were planted on microsites with some degree of soil disturbance. Soil bulk density at 0–20 cm depth increased from 0.45 to 0.66 Mg m

in the most compacted portions of traffic lanes. Soil strength in traffic lanes increased at all 60 cm depth but never exceeded 1200 kPa. Volumetric soil water content in compacted traffic lanes was greater than that in noncompacted soil. Total soil porosity decreased 13.8% to 16.1% with compaction, while available water holding capacity increased. The study revealed no detrimental effects on tree height and diameter from soil disturbance or compaction throughout the three growing season. At the ages of two and three, a tree volume index was actually greater for trees planted on traffic lanes than those on nondisturbed soil.

Author: Edward Missanjo and Gift Kamanga-Thole



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