Tree harvesting increased soil water content, but the effect diminished over 4 years. The mean increase in soil water content was 2 to 4 percent the first year following harvest and 0 to 3 percent after 4 years. Although tree harvesting released soil water previously used by tree species, other biotic and abiotic demands increased. We speculate postharvest increases in wind and solar energy at the ground surface and increased understory transpiration in part explain the decline in soil water content differences between harvested and nonharvested plots over time.
United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, "Soil Water and Temperature in Harvested and Nonharvested Pinyon-Juniper Stands" (1985). Forestry. Paper 44.