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Physico-chemical and microbial perturbations of Andalusian pine forest soils following a wildfire

AutorRodríguez, J.; González-Pérez, José Antonio ; Turmero, A.; Hernández, M.; Ball, Andrew S.; González-Vila, Francisco Javier ; Arias Fernández, Mª E.
Palabras claveClone libraries
Organic matter
Soil microbial activity
Soil microbial diversity
Fecha de publicación1-sep-2018
CitaciónScience of The Total Environment (634): 650-660 (2018)
ResumenWildfires are a recurrent disturbance in Mediterranean forests, triggered by high fuel load, high environmental temperature and low humidity. Although, human intervention is behind the initiation of most fire episodes, the situation is likely to worsen in the future due to the effects of climate change in the Mediterranean “hot-spot”. Here we study chemical, physical and microbial characteristics of burnt soils from two well differentiated sites at Sierra de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas Natural Park, Andalusia, (Spain) affected and unaffected by a wildfire, and followed their evolution for three years. The soils affected by a severe surface burn showed a significant increase in organic matter after 3 years from the fire. Viable bacteria and fungi also increased, especially 2–3 years post-burning. Substrate induced respiration (SIR) also increased significantly in burnt soil from site 1 (rendzina on carbonate) while a significant decrease was observed in the burnt soils sampled from site 2 (calcic luvisols) in samples taken one month after the wildfire. A recovery in both SIR and organic matter was observed after 2 and 3 years. Of seven soil enzymes studied, only phosphatase activity was significantly higher in most burnt soils over the three years. Analysis of bacterial community diversity using clone libraries showed a recovery in the number of phyla in burnt soils after 2 and 3 years in both sites, with an increase in Proteobacteria and Firmicutes and a decrease in Acidobacteria phyla. For Bacteroidetes, the percentages were lower in most burnt samples. This study reveals that if wildfire increases the organic matter availability, then the microbial community responds with increased activity and biomass production. Although fire exerts an initial impact on the soil bacterial community, its structure and functional profile soon recovers (after 2–3 years) contributing to soil recovery.
Descripción11 páginas.-- 4 figuras.-- 4 tablas.-- 75 referencias.-- Supplementary data associated with this article can be found in the online version, at doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.028. These data include Google map of the most important areas described in this article.
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