Research papers

Whole tree system evaluation of thinning a pine plantation in southern Italy


In Italy, some silvicultural treatment as thinning could be carried out in an economic way adopting systems based on small-scale mechanization. This paper examines the productivity standards of wood biomass in coniferous plantation thinning in Southern Italy under the conditions of small-scale forestry. The objectives of the study were to evaluate the incidence of different silvicultural treatments on productivity and harvesting costs and create productivity models for typical harvesting system used for wood thinned from Calabrian pine. Three different sites were monitored on the Sila Massif forest, and the experimental plan included three area tests, subjected in the last thirty years to intermediate cuttings with different thinning grade: light thinning (A thesis), moderate thinning (B thesis), heavy thinning (C thesis). The authors developed a productivity model for motor-manual felling and skidding timber with wheeled farm tractors, equipped with winch using a time motion study. Whole tree extraction system in coniferous plantation applied with typical felling system traditional has guaranteed productivity standards at a reasonable cost reducing high operational cost per unit harvested. The results, therefore, underlined that it economic possible to wood biomass harvest relatively small-diameter from thinning stands favoring moderate and heavy thinning.


small-scale forestry; time studies; productivity; thinning; costs; mechanization.

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