Skip to main content

The impact of forest clear-cutting on soil temperature: a comparison between before and after cutting, and between clear-cut and control sites

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Shoji Hashimoto.

About this article

Cite this article

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

Download citation

Key words

  • Soil temperature
  • Clear-cutting
  • Microclimate