Effects of a low severity prescribed fire on water-soluble elements in ash from a cork oak (Quercus suber) forest located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula

Paulo Pereira, Xavier beda, Deborah Martin, Jorge Mataix-Solera, César Guerrero

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65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wildfire is the major disturbance in Mediterranean forests. Prescribed fire can be an alternative to reduce the amount of fuel and hence decrease the wildfire risk. However the effects of prescribed fire must be studied, especially on ash properties, because ash is an important nutrient source for ecosystem recovery. The aim of this study is to determine the effects of a low severity prescribed fire on water-soluble elements in ash including pH, electrical conductivity (EC), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), potassium (K), aluminum (Al), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), silica (SiO2) and total sulphur (TS). A prescribed fire was conducted in a cork oak (Quercus suber) (Q.S) forest located in the northeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Samples were collected from a flat plot of 40×70m mainly composed of Q.S and Quercus robur (Q.R) trees. In order to understand the effects of the prescribed fire on the soluble elements in ash, we conducted our data analysis on three data groups: all samples, only Q.S samples and only Q.R samples. All three sample groups exhibited a significant increase in pH, EC (p2 and TS and a decrease in water-soluble Mn, Fe and Zn. Differences were identified between oak species for water-soluble K, Al and Fe. In Q.S samples we registered a significant increase in the first two elements p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-247
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume111
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

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Keywords

  • Ash
  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Prescribed fire
  • Quercus robur
  • Quercus suber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Biochemistry

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