Wildfire effects on extractable elements in ash from a Pinus pinaster forest in Portugal

Paulo Pereira, Xavier Úbeda, Deborah Martin, Jorge Mataix-Solera, Artemi Cerdà, Maria Burguet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this work is to study the effects of a wildfire on water-extractable elements in ash from a Pinus pinaster forest located in Portugal. The pH, electrical conductivity (EC), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), sodium and potassium adsorption ratio (SPAR), aluminium (Al3+), manganese (Mn2+), iron (Fe2+), zinc (Zn2+), sulphur (S), silica (Si) and phosphorous (P) were analysed in ash sampled from a sloped area burned in a wildfire and from litter from a contiguous unburned area, with similar morphological conditions. The results showed that ash leachates had higher pH and EC, and were significantly richer in water-extractable Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, SPAR, S and Si and significantly poorer in water-extractable Al3+, Fe2+, Mn2+ and Zn2+ than litter solutions. No significant differences were observed in water-extractable P. The fire changed the ash solute chemistry compared with the unburned litter and increased the sample variability of nutrient distribution with potential implications for plant recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3681-3690
Number of pages10
JournalHydrological Processes
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - May 30 2014



  • Ash
  • Litter
  • Sample variability
  • SPAR
  • Water-extractable elements
  • Wildfire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

Pereira, P., Úbeda, X., Martin, D., Mataix-Solera, J., Cerdà, A., & Burguet, M. (2014). Wildfire effects on extractable elements in ash from a Pinus pinaster forest in Portugal. Hydrological Processes, 28(11), 3681-3690. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.9907