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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 268157, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/268157
Research Article

Effects of Thinning Intensities on Soil Infiltration and Water Storage Capacity in a Chinese Pine-Oak Mixed Forest

1Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Science and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
2Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
3Key Laboratory of Coastal Biology & Bioresources Utilization, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research (YIC), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Yantai 264003, China

Received 10 March 2014; Accepted 27 March 2014; Published 23 April 2014

Academic Editor: Xu Gang

Copyright © 2014 Lili Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Thinning is a crucial practice in the forest ecosystem management. The soil infiltration rate and water storage capacity of pine-oak mixed forest under three different thinning intensity treatments (15%, 30%, and 60%) were studied in Qinling Mountains of China. The thinning operations had a significant influence on soil infiltration rate and water storage capacity. The soil infiltration rate and water storage capacity in different thinning treatments followed the order of control (nonthinning): <60%, <15%, and <30%. It demonstrated that thinning operation with 30% intensity can substantially improve soil infiltration rate and water storage capacity of pine-oak mixed forest in Qinling Mountains. The soil initial infiltration rate, stable infiltration rate, and average infiltration rate in thinning 30% treatment were significantly increased by 21.1%, 104.6%, and 60.9%, compared with the control. The soil maximal water storage capacity and noncapillary water storage capacity in thinning 30% treatment were significantly improved by 20.1% and 34.3% in contrast to the control. The soil infiltration rate and water storage capacity were significantly higher in the surface layer (0~20 cm) than in the deep layers (20~40 cm and 40~60 cm). We found that the soil property was closely related to soil infiltration rate and water storage capacity.