J. Finnegan, J.T. Regan, B.A. McCabe, M.G. Healy
Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
brash, consolidation, forestry, nutrients, peat
Theme VII. Ecology and management on forested peatlands
In Irish clearfelling practice, a brash mat, consisting of small branches and logs, is laid ahead of the harvester and forwarder traffic to minimise soil disturbance. The aim of this study was twofold: (i) to evaluate the effectiveness of brash mats in preventing peat consolidation and (ii) to quantify nutrient release to the subsurface water. Moisture content profiles were compared to assess soil consolidation and subsurface water samples were analysed for their nutrient concentrations. There was no significant change in moisture content, indicating that the brash mat was successful in preventing peat volume changes. There was an increase in nutrient concentration under the brash mats, which indicates that they may be a long-term nutrient source if not removed.