MADISON — We think of forests as wild places that take care of themselves. But sometimes a little help is necessary. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) April 15 Soils Matter blog explains what forest soils do and why we need to give them a hand.
“Humans have changed the way forests are used,” writes blog author Mary Beth Adams, U.S. Forest Service. “Unlike us, trees can’t leave when conditions are not to their liking! So management of forest soils is important.”
In addition to providing a place to enjoy the outdoors, forests provide timber and fuel. And there’s more: “It’s been estimated that about two-thirds of the water we drink comes from forested lands, and forests provide some of the highest quality water available,” Adams says.
Forest soils play an important role in water filtration. The accumulation of leaves, seeds, wood, twigs and other materials on the forest floor contributes to soil that is better able to filter water and slow or prevent surface runoff. The soil also provides a healthy environment for everything living, from microbes on up.
“Forest managers work to minimize compaction and disturbance, ensuring that nutrient supply is balanced with the needs of the trees, and protecting the soil (ecosystem).”
To read the entire blog post, visit https://soilsmatter.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/why-do-forest-so…ed-to-be-managed/.
— Soil Science Society of America