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Effects of post-fire soil stabilization techniques on trace elements lost by erosion

AutorGómez Rey, María Xesús; García Marco, Sonia; Fernández, C.; Couto Vázquez, Alejandra
Palabras claveBurned Area Emergency Response
experimental fire
Fecha de publicación2014
EditorCSIRO Publishing
CitaciónInternational Journal of Wildland Fire 23: 93-103 (2014)
ResumenThe effect of two post-fire stabilization techniques (Seeding and Mulching) on trace elements (Al, B, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo and Zn) losses with eroded sediments was evaluated during 13 months after an experimental fire in a steep shrubland of a temperate-humid region (NW Spain). With time, concentration of extractable Mn, Zn and Cu in sediments decreased, Fe tended to increase and Al, Co, B and Mo varied without a clear trend. Most sediments and trace element losses occurred during the first three months post-fire. Compared with the available elements in ash+burned topsoil, the fraction lost with sediments was highest for Mo (10-16%), intermediate for Mn (4%) and Zn (3%) and low for the rest (0.4-1.2%). Although minor effects of stabilization techniques on element concentrations were found, accumulated mass losses of trace elements decreased 6-12 times in Mulching due to its 10-fold lower soil erosion rate; no significant changes were found in Seeding. Sediment nutrient losses are probably more important than those published for smoke, leaching or volatilization. Our results suggest that the Zn and Cu enrichment in sediments from the first erosion events increase the risk of downslope water and soil contamination. In conclusion, soil stabilization techniques are useful to prevent post-fire ecosystem damage. Keywords: Burned Area Emergency Response, experimental
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