Why do forest soils need to be managed?

April 16, 2018 – We think of forests as wild places that take care of themselves. But sometimes a little help is necessary. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) April 15 Soils Matter blog explains what forest soils do and why we need to give them a hand.

“Humans have changed the way forests are used,” writes blog author Mary Beth Adams, U.S. Forest Service. “Unlike us, trees can’t leave when conditions are not to their liking! So management of forest soils is important.”

In addition to providing a place to enjoy the outdoors, forests provide timber and fuel. And there’s more: “It’s been estimated that about two-thirds of the water we drink comes from forested lands, and forests provide some of the highest quality water available,” Adams says.

Forest soils play an important role in water filtration. The accumulation of leaves, seeds, wood, twigs and other materials on the forest floor contributes to soil that is better able to filter water and slow or prevent surface runoff. The soil also provides a healthy environment for everything living, from microbes on up.

“Forest managers work to minimize compaction and disturbance, ensuring that nutrient supply is balanced with the needs of the trees, and protecting the soil (ecosystem).”

To read the entire blog post, visit https://soilsmatter.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/why-do-forest-so…ed-to-be-managed/.

Follow SSSA on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SSSA.soils, Twitter at SSSA_Soils. SSSA has soils information on www.soils.org/discover-soils, for teachers at www.soils4teachers.org, and for students through 12th grade, www.soils4kids.org.

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

SSSA supports its members by providing quality research-based publications, educational programs, certifications, and science policy initiatives via a Washington, DC, office. Founded in 1936, SSSA proudly celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2011. For more information, visit www.soils.org or follow @SSSA_soils on Twitter.