Effect of fire severity on physical and biochemical soil properties in Zagros oak (Quercus brantii Lindl.) forests in Iran
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Journal of Forestry Research
Fire affects the physical and chemical properties and soil biological activity of natural ecosystems. This study was conducted in the Miyan Tang region, Ilam Province in western Iran. The study site was 110 hectares, where we sampled soils in areas that were classified by fire severity: low (LS), high (HS) and medium severity (MS), and unburned (UB), which served as the control. In each severity class, 25 transect points were randomly selected for measurement. Around each transect plot center, 3 soil samples were selected randomly and soils collected from the 0 to 20 cm depth were combined into a composite sample that was used in laboratory analysis to represent conditions at that point. Plots in the UB and LS fire classes had similar soil conditions and had higher values of factors such as saturated moisture, organic carbon, carbon dioxide, and silt and clay content. In contrast, plots in the HS and MS fire severity classes were clustered in the positive direction along the first axis that represented gradients in soil acidity, electrical conductivity, cation exchange capacity, accessible phosphorus, accessible potassium, bulk density, and sand. Soil attributes were similar in areas of HS and MS fire severity classes, whereas soil conditions in the LS class and UB controls were most similar. Fire in the LS areas either did not significantly alter the physical– chemical soil properties and microbial basal respiration, or soils were able to recover quickly after being burned.
KeywordsFire severity, Oak, Soil respiration, Physical and chemical soil properties
Heydari, M.; Rostamy, A.; Najafi, F.; Dey, D. C. 2017. Effect of fire severity on physical and biochemical soil properties in Zagros oak (Quercus brantii Lindl.) forests in Iran. Journal of Forestry Research. 28(1): 95-104. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11676-016-0299-x.