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Changes of carbon dioxide concentration in soils caused by forestry machine traffic


Forestry machine traffic causes a number of changes that are not immediately reflected in morphological changes of surface soil. These changes are physical and chemical in nature. The change in subsurface soil CO2 concentration was one of the parameters of interest. The critical CO2 concentration is thought to fluctuate around 0.6%. The primary objective of this paper was to determine the impact of forestry machine traffic on subsurface soil CO2 concentration. We measured CO2 concentration in the areas undisturbed by machinery and in the ruts in skid trails in eight forest stands. The measurements were performed using a Vaisala MI 70 meter. The results confirmed significant differences in gas concentrations between the individual measurement sites. In the ruts of the skid trails, CO2 concentrations fluctuated in a range of 0.5 to 2.81% and significantly exceeded the critical concentration. Moisture content and bulk density had a significant impact on the change in gas concentration beneath the surface, which was confirmed by multivariate analysis of variance that revealed that the values of the coefficient of correlation fluctuated in a range of 0.39 to 0.74.

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