Research Branch

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Forest Soil Temperature Manual

Author(s) or contact(s): R.J. Stathers and D.L. Spittlehouse
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Soil Conservation
Series: FRDA Report
Other details:  Published 1990. Hardcopy is available.


Environmental conditions are important in determining the survival, growth and distribution of tree species. However, information about the forest soil thermal regimes in British Columbia is limited. This has prompted forest ecologists and silviculturists to investigate the atmospheric and soil climate of forests and clearcuts throughout the province.
The purpose of this manual is to provide foresters and other resource managers with a reference to aid them in the collection and interpretation of soil temperature information. To this end, the manual describes how silvicultural treatments can modify soil thermal regimes, and places emphasis on improving the soil thermal regime for conifer seedlings growing in forest clearcuts in British Columbia. It also describes the variations in temperature with time and with depth in the soil profile, the physical factors which influence soil temperature, the methods and instruments used to measure soil temperature, the procedures for interpreting soil temperature measurements, and the methods of classifying soil thermal regimes.
The manual consolidates material from a large number of texts and papers. A wide selection of these are listed in the bibliography for readers who are interested in greater detail.

FRDA Research Report 130 (4308 KB)

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Updated July 24, 2015