The easy implementation of ecologically-sound remediation measures for the prompt stabilisation of burned areas may be crucial in Mediterranean forest environments. Manual in situ contour redirection of burned felled logs could aid in soil erosion control and facilitate forest self-regeneration. In this study, a plot-scale runoff/sediment yield survey was conducted in Calabria, Italy, within a Mediterranean pine forest that was affected by an extreme wildfire spanning over 15,000 hectares in the summer of 2021. The hydrological response to 24 rainfall events was analysed after one year of monitoring using nine Wischmeier and Smith 20% sloping plots, which were distributed into three plot-blocks representing different conditions (forested, burned with randomly directed fallen logs, and burned with fallen logs manually redirected along contour lines). The post-fire condition (with felled logs in random positions) exhibited a consistent overall increase (approximately four times) in runoff and sediment yield compared to the pre-fire situation. This degradation effect was mitigated by approximately 30% through the manual redirection of burned logs, which promoted early (three to five weeks) vegetation regeneration (including tree emergence) and enhanced coverage as vegetation spread from the log positions. The results obtained so far provide encouraging insights and warrant further research on steeper slopes and complementary aspects (regulatory, biological, mechanical, economic, etc.).

Use of Logs Downed by Wildfires as Erosion Barriers to Encourage Forest Auto-Regeneration: A Case Study in Calabria, Italy

Bombino G.
;
Barbaro G.;Zimbone S. M.
2023-01-01

Abstract

The easy implementation of ecologically-sound remediation measures for the prompt stabilisation of burned areas may be crucial in Mediterranean forest environments. Manual in situ contour redirection of burned felled logs could aid in soil erosion control and facilitate forest self-regeneration. In this study, a plot-scale runoff/sediment yield survey was conducted in Calabria, Italy, within a Mediterranean pine forest that was affected by an extreme wildfire spanning over 15,000 hectares in the summer of 2021. The hydrological response to 24 rainfall events was analysed after one year of monitoring using nine Wischmeier and Smith 20% sloping plots, which were distributed into three plot-blocks representing different conditions (forested, burned with randomly directed fallen logs, and burned with fallen logs manually redirected along contour lines). The post-fire condition (with felled logs in random positions) exhibited a consistent overall increase (approximately four times) in runoff and sediment yield compared to the pre-fire situation. This degradation effect was mitigated by approximately 30% through the manual redirection of burned logs, which promoted early (three to five weeks) vegetation regeneration (including tree emergence) and enhanced coverage as vegetation spread from the log positions. The results obtained so far provide encouraging insights and warrant further research on steeper slopes and complementary aspects (regulatory, biological, mechanical, economic, etc.).
2023
burned logs
erosion barrier
erosion control
forest regeneration
forest wildfire
mountain areas
runoff
sediment yield
soil erosion
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/139906
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