Soil temperature is one of the most important factors governing biological activity in the soil. This study was conducted to investigate how forest clear-cutting changes soil temperature. Soil temperatures at 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 m depths were measured in two neighboring forest watersheds (35°12″N, 140°06″E) in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, from 1994 to 2000. One watershed was clear-cut 5 years after the observations began. After clear-cutting, the annual mean soil temperature at 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 m depths rose by about 2.2, 2.0, 1.7, and 1.4°C, respectively. The maximum respective soil temperatures rose by about 3.2, 3.0, 2.2, and 1.8°C. The minimum soil temperature rose slightly (≪1°C). The range of temperatures increased by 3.0, 2.4, 1.6, and 1.4°C, respectively. In our study, forest clear-cutting raised maximum and average soil temperatures but hardly changed minimum soil temperature. This is probably because solar radiation dominated in the summer season and increased soil temperature; on the other hand, net long-wave radiation, and releases of latent and sensible heat from the soil surface, were predominant in the cool season.
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Hashimoto, S., Suzuki, M. The impact of forest clear-cutting on soil temperature: a comparison between before and after cutting, and between clear-cut and control sites. J For Res 9, 125–132 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10310-003-0063-x
- Soil temperature