Fires are a complex phenomenon that may generate a chain of responses and processes that affect each part of the ecosystem. Thus, it is important to understand the magnitude of the impacts of fire on soil properties and the response of plants to this disturbance. For the moment, few studies have examined the effects of prescribed fire on large plots in afforested pine plantations in Mediterranean ecosystems. To fill this gap, the effects of a prescribed fire on runoff, soil erosion, and water quality for approximately one year after burning have been evaluated in pine plantations in south-eastern Spain. We constructed six erosion plots in the control area and six erosion plots in the burned area that were 4 m long and 2 m wide, immediately after the prescribed fire. Runoff, soil erosion and runoff water quality were studied after each rainy event in all plots. Our results reveal that prescribed fire did not significantly affect runoff and soil erosion when low intensity precipitations occur at pine plantations. In relation to water quality, water turbidity, salinity, pH, organic matter content and ionic substances concentrations increased immediately after prescribed burn, nevertheless these changes disappeared over time. We can conclude that prescribed fire can be a useful tool for fuel reduction in Mediterranean pine plantations without wide and long-term impacts to soil losses, or water quality.

Short-term effects of prescribed burning in Mediterranean pine plantations on surface runoff, soil erosion and water quality of runoff

Zema D;
2019

Abstract

Fires are a complex phenomenon that may generate a chain of responses and processes that affect each part of the ecosystem. Thus, it is important to understand the magnitude of the impacts of fire on soil properties and the response of plants to this disturbance. For the moment, few studies have examined the effects of prescribed fire on large plots in afforested pine plantations in Mediterranean ecosystems. To fill this gap, the effects of a prescribed fire on runoff, soil erosion, and water quality for approximately one year after burning have been evaluated in pine plantations in south-eastern Spain. We constructed six erosion plots in the control area and six erosion plots in the burned area that were 4 m long and 2 m wide, immediately after the prescribed fire. Runoff, soil erosion and runoff water quality were studied after each rainy event in all plots. Our results reveal that prescribed fire did not significantly affect runoff and soil erosion when low intensity precipitations occur at pine plantations. In relation to water quality, water turbidity, salinity, pH, organic matter content and ionic substances concentrations increased immediately after prescribed burn, nevertheless these changes disappeared over time. We can conclude that prescribed fire can be a useful tool for fuel reduction in Mediterranean pine plantations without wide and long-term impacts to soil losses, or water quality.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/2931
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