A post-logging assessment of some soil physical properties in a Ghanaian moist semi-deciduous forest
We assessed the impact of logging operations on some soil physical properties: penetration resistance, bulk density and matric potential in four logging gaps; loading bays, tree-fall gaps, primary skid trails, secondary skid trails and undisturbed site as control in a moist semi-deciduous forest in Ghana. Penetration resistance was significantly higher in loading bays and primary skid trails than in the other logging gaps with penetration resistance values of 64.84N/cm2, 116.56N/cm2 and 155.2N/cm2 for 0-2cm, 2-5cm and 5-7cm depths in the loading bays. Tree-fall gaps were the least compacted with corresponding penetration resistance values of 19.16N/cm2, 64.28.52N/cm2 and 91.38 N/cm2 for the various soil depths. Bulk density and soil matric potential however, did not significantly differ between gaps suggesting the impact of logging on soil compaction was quite low and could only be captured by penetration resistance. The low level of logging impacts on the forest soil may be accounted for by the time of logging which was the dry season and the small number of trees extracted (0.6 tree/ha) during logging.
Keywords: Logging, moist semi-deciduous forest, soil physical properties, Ghana
Ghana Journal of Forestry Vol. 19 & 20 2006: pp. 54-62