Response of forest vegetation and foliar δ 13 C and δ 15 N to soil compaction and forest floor removal in a boreal aspen forest

  • Published source details Tan X., Kabzems R. & Chang S.X. (2006) Response of forest vegetation and foliar δ 13 C and δ 15 N to soil compaction and forest floor removal in a boreal aspen forest. Forest Ecology and Management, 222, 450-458.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Enhance soil compaction

Action Link
Forest Conservation
  1. Enhance soil compaction

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1998-2002 in boreal forest in British Columbia, Canada (Tan, Kabzems & Chang 2006) found that soil compaction increased understory plant cover in debris-removed plots but decreased plant species richness and the height of trembling aspen Populus tremuloides saplings in debris remaining plots. Total cover of shrubs, herbaceous species and mosses was higher in compaction plots with woody debris removal (compaction: 115%; control: 81%). With debris remaining species richness was lower in compaction (17 species/subplot) than control plots (21), as was the maximum height of aspen (compaction: 225 cm; control: 345 cm). There was no difference between compaction treatments and controls for: understory plant cover in debris remaining plots (compaction: 75%; control: 77%); plant species richness in debris removal plots (compaction: 23; control: 22); understory or the maximum height of aspen in debris removal plots (compaction: 110 cm; control: 120 cm). Six compaction (soil depressed by 4–5 cm; 40×70 m) and six control treatment plots were established in 1998-1999. Three of each treatment were assigned as woody debris removal (whole tree harvested, forest floor stripped to expose the soil) and three as debris remaining (trunk only harvested, woody debris left) plots. Under-canopy plants were monitored in 2001 in two subplots (4 m radius). Aspen saplings were measured in 2002 in three subplots within each treatment plot.


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