The medium- and long-term studies about the effectiveness of post-fire management techniques on soil and plant ecology are scarce, although the effects of wildfire and subsequent management can be long lasting. This study has evaluated the changes in the main physico-chemical properties of soil and plant diversity six years after a wildfire and post-fire treatments using contour felled log debris (CFD) and log erosion barriers (LEB) in a Mediterranean pine forest in comparison to unburnt (UB), and burnt but untreated (BNA) sites. Soil texture and pH did not generally change after wildfire and treatments, while organic matter and nutrients were significantly different between the treated soils and the other sites. Herbaceous plants were found only in UB and LEB sites, the latter showing the lowest number of tree species. Shrubs were equally distributed among the four soil conditions. Resprouting and germinating plants increased in the treated sites compared to BNA area, which however showed a higher number of facultative resprouters. The analysis of relationships between soil properties and plant diversity showed that, when organic matter (CFD plots) and nitrogen (LEB plots) contents are noticeably higher compared to BNA soils, more resprouting species are detected. Moreover, significant increases in pH (UB and BNA plots) and organic matter (CFD plots) are associated to more abundant tree and herbaceous species. The study also indicates to forest managers the most resilient plant species after post-fire restoration several years after a wildfire under Mediterranean conditions.

Medium-term associations of soil properties and plant diversity in a semi-arid pine forest after post-wildfire management

Zema, DA
;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The medium- and long-term studies about the effectiveness of post-fire management techniques on soil and plant ecology are scarce, although the effects of wildfire and subsequent management can be long lasting. This study has evaluated the changes in the main physico-chemical properties of soil and plant diversity six years after a wildfire and post-fire treatments using contour felled log debris (CFD) and log erosion barriers (LEB) in a Mediterranean pine forest in comparison to unburnt (UB), and burnt but untreated (BNA) sites. Soil texture and pH did not generally change after wildfire and treatments, while organic matter and nutrients were significantly different between the treated soils and the other sites. Herbaceous plants were found only in UB and LEB sites, the latter showing the lowest number of tree species. Shrubs were equally distributed among the four soil conditions. Resprouting and germinating plants increased in the treated sites compared to BNA area, which however showed a higher number of facultative resprouters. The analysis of relationships between soil properties and plant diversity showed that, when organic matter (CFD plots) and nitrogen (LEB plots) contents are noticeably higher compared to BNA soils, more resprouting species are detected. Moreover, significant increases in pH (UB and BNA plots) and organic matter (CFD plots) are associated to more abundant tree and herbaceous species. The study also indicates to forest managers the most resilient plant species after post-fire restoration several years after a wildfire under Mediterranean conditions.
2023
Wildfire
Mediterranean forest
Climate change
Post-fire management
Plant diversity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/141551
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