Soil properties influencing compactability of forest soils in British Columbia

M Krzic, CE Bulmer, F Teste, L Dampier, S Rahman

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Krzic, M., Bulmer, C. E., Teste, F., Dampier, L. and Rahman, S. 2004. Soil properties influencing compactability of forest soils in British Columbia. Can. J. Soil Sci. 84: 219-226. The widespread use of heavy machinery during harvesting and site preparation in timber plantations in British Columbia (BC) has led to concerns that compaction causes a reduction in long-term soil productivity. Impacts of properties such as total C, water content, and texture on compactability of forest soils in BC were assessed. Two compactability indices were used: maximum bulk density (MBD) and susceptibility to compaction (SC) determined by the standard Proctor test. Soil samples were collected from 16 sites throughout BC covering a wide range of biogeoclimatic zones. Soils varied in texture (12 to 87% sand, 9 to 76% silt, and 2 to 53% clay) and organic matter content (18 to 76 g kg(-1) total C). A strong negative correlation was observed between MBD and gravimetric water content at which MBD was achieved (W-MBD) and between MBD and total C. Similarly, W-MBD and total C had strong effects on SC. The estimation of either MBD or SC values was not substantially improved by including texture parameters to the regression equations in addition to the total C. The implication of the relationships observed in this study is that increases in soil organic matter reduce the risk of compactability, which is particularly important for forest soils where compaction is generally not corrected by implements after tree planting. The information is also useful for assessing the extent of compaction on soils affected by machine traffic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-226
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Soil Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


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