Modifications et restauration de propriétés physiques et chimiques de deux sols forestiers soumis au passage d'un engin d'exploitation

Abstract : Soil compaction belongs to the major treats to soil quality with no exceptions of forest ecosystems where the frequency and intensity of loads application increase since several decades. The mechanisms and the duration of soil quality recovery following heavy traffic in forests remain poorly documented and their study requires multidisciplinary approaches.The aim of this work was to evaluate the impact of forwarder traffic on the potential constraints to roots growth (aeration, water content, and penetrability) growing in two forest soils sensitive to compaction, and the evolution of these consequences in the short-term. This work is based on two experimental sites, set up in the northeast of France, with soils displaying similar morphologies (50 cm thick silt loam layer laying on a clayey layer) and having being loaded with the same forwarder under similar (wet) soil conditions. Soil climate (temperature and moisture), soil air composition, and soil bulk density and resistance to penetration were investigated continuously, monthly and yearly, respectively. Soil climate and air composition monitoring showed a strong initial decrease in aerobic conditions lasting one to one and a half year. The strong initial impact on soil aeration decreased concurrently with the first soil drought experimented at both sites, probably because of soil cracks formation in the disturbed soil. Yet heavy traffic still affected significantly soil air composition 3 to 4 years after compaction at both sites. To monitor changes in soil physical parameters, we had to standardize measures with regards to soil climatic conditions at the time of sampling. Three to four years after soil compaction, the difference in soil physical properties between treatments was still significant. However, changes in the impact of the forwarder traffic on soil physical characteristics could be stated in the surface layer (0–10 cm) of both sites. This beginning of soil restoration results at one of both sites in a difference between treatments that is no longer significant when soils are wet but that is still significant when the soils are dry. At the second site, the difference is still significant whatever soil moisture conditions but it has decreased since the start of the experiment. Consequently, this beginning of soil structure recovery is not accompanied by a disappearance of the hardsetting behaviour (decrease in hydrostructural stability) of the compacted soil at one site. In this study changes in the consequences of the forwarder traffic were stated in the surface soil layers of both sites, these changes may be due to physical processes (wetting – drying, freezing – thawing). Nevertheless, the impact remains strong on roots growth (high resistance to penetration when dry, poor gas transfer when wet) and on stand resilience to external stresses (drought, storm).
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Noémie Goutal. Modifications et restauration de propriétés physiques et chimiques de deux sols forestiers soumis au passage d'un engin d'exploitation. Sciences agricoles. AgroParisTech, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012AGPT0015⟩. ⟨pastel-00737884⟩

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