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A comparison of three erosion control mulches on decommissioned forest road corridors in the northern Rocky Mountains, United States


Foltz, R. B. 2012. A comparison of three erosion control mulches on decommissioned forest road corridors in the northern Rocky Mountains, United States. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 67(6): 536-544.

doi: 10.2489/jswc.67.6.536

This study tested the erosion mitigation effectiveness of agricultural straw and two wood-based mulches for four years on decommissioned forest roads. Plots were installed on the loosely consolidated, bare soil to measure sediment production, mulch cover, and plant regrowth. The experimental design was a repeated measures, randomized block on two soil types common in the northern Rocky Mountain area. The control produced the most sediment, while wood strands produced the least during the critical first winter following road decommissioning. Following the first year, there was no statistically significant difference in sediment production among the mulches or control. One year after the three mulches were applied, there was no statistical difference among mulch cover. Further, none of the mulches inhibited plant regrowth. The conservation implications of these research findings demonstrated that wood-based alternatives to agricultural straw were equally effective in reducing sediment production from originally bare, unvegetated soil strips resulting from forest road decommissioning. The amount of effective ground cover provided by mulch, plants, and litter appeared to be more important than the type of mulch.

Keywords: erosion control, mulch, straw, wood shreds, wood strands


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http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2012_foltz_r002.pdf

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: A comparison of three erosion control mulches on decommissioned forest road corridors in the northern Rocky Mountains, United States
Electronic Publish Date: February 6, 2013
Last Update:
February 6, 2013

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