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Water Erosion and Climate Change: Soil Erosion Potential of Highly Mechanized Logging in Steep Terrain

Abstract:

Our basic assumption is that climate change leading to an increase of highly erosive rain storms (5% to 40% predicted for southern germany by KLIWA 2008) and higher demands of timber harvested in steep terrain lead to an increase of erosion risks for forest ecosystems. Following this and the recent developments in the practice of our cooperation partners and forestry in general we put following questions into the focus of our investigation:

- How do recent predictions for the climate change allow estimations for future erosion risks during and after wood harvesting?

- Is forest infrastructure a preferred spot for the accumulation of surface runoff and interflow? Which practices are under a hydrological point of view less prone to runoff accumulation?

- How do common practices in highly mechanized logging differ in their erosion potentials? How does the erosion potential change by using synchronized traction whinches on forwarders?