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Effects of salvage logging on soil properties and vegetation recovery in a fire-affected Mediterranean forest: A two year monitoring research


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Title:
Effects of salvage logging on soil properties and vegetation recovery in a fire-affected Mediterranean forest: A two year monitoring research
Authors:
García Orenes, Fuensanta
Arcenegui Baldó, Victoria
Chrenková, K.
Mataix Solera, Jorge
Moltó, J.
Jara Navarro, Ana Belén
Torres, M.P.
Department:
Departamentos de la UMH::Agroquímica y Medio Ambiente
Issue Date:
2017-02-15
Abstract:
Post-firemanagement can have an additional impact on the ecosystem; in somecases, evenmore severe than the fire. Salvage logging (SL) is a common practice in most fire-affected areas. The management of burnt wood can determine microclimatic conditions and seriously affect soil properties. In some cases, the way of doing it, using heavy machinery, and the vulnerability of soils to erosion and degradation can make this management potentially aggressive to soil. Research was done in “Sierra de Mariola Natural Park” (E Spain). A forest fire (N500 ha) occurred in July 2012. In February 2013, SL treatment was applied in a part of the affected forest. Plots for monitoring this effect were installed in this area and in a similar nearby area where no treatment was done, used as control (C). Soil samplings were done immediately after treatment and every 6 months during two years. Some soil properties were analysed, including organic matter (OM) content, nitrogen (N) available phosphorous (P) basal soil respiration (BSR), microbial biomass carbon (Cmic), bulk density (BD),water repellency (WR), aggregate stability (AS) and field capacity (FC). SL treatment caused an increase in BD, a decrease of AS, FC, OMand N. In the control area, in general the soil properties remained constant across the 2 years of monitoring, and the microbial parameters (BSR and Cmic), initially affected by the fire, recovered faster in C than in the SL area. Plant recovery also showed some differences between treatments. No significant differenceswere observed in the number of plant species recorded (richness) comparing C versus SL plots, but the number of individuals of each species (evenness)was significantly higher in C plots. In conclusion, we can affirmthat for the conditions of this study case, SL had a negative effect on the soil-plant system.
Keywords/Subjects:
Wildfire
Burnt soil
Salvage logging
Post-fire treatments
Type of document:
application/pdf
Access rights:
info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
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