The hydrological effects of straw mulching and salvage logging have been widely experimented in the Mediterranean forests affected by wildfires. In contrast, knowledge about the impacts of these post-fire management techniques on the physico-chemical properties of burned soils is poor, especially many years after the fire. In particular, no studies have evaluated the soil changes after the combinations of soil mulching and salvage logging after wildfires in Mediterranean forests. To fill this gap, this study explores the effects of straw mulching and salvage logging, applied individually or in combination to a burnt forest of Pinus halepensis Mill. of central-eastern Spain, on the physico-chemical properties of soil six years after a wildfire. Both the post-fire techniques significantly altered the organic matter, phosphorous, and carbonate contents of the burned soils as well as their C/N (carbon/nitrogen) ratio, while the texture and other chemical properties (pH, electrical conductivity, total nitrogen, potassium, cations/anions, and active limestone) of the soils were not significantly affected by these post-fire treatments. Organic matter (OM) and phosphorous (P) contents increased by 57% and 69%, respectively, in mulched soils in comparison to the burned but untreated plots. In logged soils, the OM increased by 27%, while P decreased by 17%. Salvage logging after straw mulching increased OM, albeit less than under the individual soil treatments (+13%), but noticeably reduced P (-39%). The C/N ratio practically underwent the same variation (+15-20%) after the combination of the two treatments. The principal component analysis and the agglomerative hierarchical cluster analysis applied to the soil properties measured in the plots under the individual and combined management show that the effects of salvage logging on soil properties appear to be more impactful compared to straw mulching.

Mid-Term Changes in Soil Properties after Wildfire, Straw Mulching and Salvage Logging in Pinus halepensis Mill. Forests

Carra, BG;Zema, DA
2022

Abstract

The hydrological effects of straw mulching and salvage logging have been widely experimented in the Mediterranean forests affected by wildfires. In contrast, knowledge about the impacts of these post-fire management techniques on the physico-chemical properties of burned soils is poor, especially many years after the fire. In particular, no studies have evaluated the soil changes after the combinations of soil mulching and salvage logging after wildfires in Mediterranean forests. To fill this gap, this study explores the effects of straw mulching and salvage logging, applied individually or in combination to a burnt forest of Pinus halepensis Mill. of central-eastern Spain, on the physico-chemical properties of soil six years after a wildfire. Both the post-fire techniques significantly altered the organic matter, phosphorous, and carbonate contents of the burned soils as well as their C/N (carbon/nitrogen) ratio, while the texture and other chemical properties (pH, electrical conductivity, total nitrogen, potassium, cations/anions, and active limestone) of the soils were not significantly affected by these post-fire treatments. Organic matter (OM) and phosphorous (P) contents increased by 57% and 69%, respectively, in mulched soils in comparison to the burned but untreated plots. In logged soils, the OM increased by 27%, while P decreased by 17%. Salvage logging after straw mulching increased OM, albeit less than under the individual soil treatments (+13%), but noticeably reduced P (-39%). The C/N ratio practically underwent the same variation (+15-20%) after the combination of the two treatments. The principal component analysis and the agglomerative hierarchical cluster analysis applied to the soil properties measured in the plots under the individual and combined management show that the effects of salvage logging on soil properties appear to be more impactful compared to straw mulching.
post-fire management
organic matter
nutrients
high-severity fires
Mediterranean forests
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/130766
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