With a higher temperature and more moist conditions, the process of organic matter decomposition speeds up.
In other words, organic matter gets broken down and added into the soil more quickly in these gaps than in the surrounding forest.
OK. And the third cause—trees being uprooted.
When a tree is uprooted, it might fall into some other trees on its way down, thus falling only partway over.
Or it might crash all the way down to the forest floor.
Either way, if its roots are pulled up from out of the ground as the tree topples over, then there's usually a big hole, a pit left in the ground where the roots used to be.
And there's still a lot of soil attached to the roots, clinging to the roots.
As that soil is eventually shed from the roots by rain and wind and the movement of squirrels climbing around, things like that.
Um... as the soil is shed, it drops down and forms a little hill of dirt, a mound.
Pits and mounds have significantly different soil properties than other areas in the forest.
You get a redistribution and mixing of soil as deep roots are ripped up from the ground.
Rock fragments can be pulled up too, if they've gotten entangled with the roots over the years.
So rock fragments from the subsoil can end up concentrated on the surface.
There are forests management implications I want to point out. Forests management impacts soil quality.
And when we better understand pedodiversity, we will be better able to predict the impact of forest management on soil.
But in general, for positive impact, forest management practices should mimic natural forest processes.
And the goal should be to promote pedodiversity, and through this, biodiversity in general.
I have a handout, an article on pedodiversity in a section of forests near here.
I want you to read it, because it makes a point that I've only touched on.
From what I have been saying about the causes of pedodiversity, you might assume that the relationship between forest dynamics, what happens to the trees, and pedodiversity is a one-way street.
As the article explains, forest dynamics affects pedodiversity, but pedodiversity also affects forest dynamics.
It's worth bearing in mind.