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Aggregation of under canopy and bare soils in a Mediterranean environment affected by different fire intensities

AuthorsCampo, Julián ; Gimeno-García, Eugenia ; Andreu Pérez, V. ; González-Pelayo, Óscar ; Rubio, José Luis
Soil organic matter
Calcium carbonate
Mean weight diameter
Experimental plots
Issue Date15-Aug-2008
CitationCatena 74(3): 212-218 (2008)
AbstractSoil macroaggregation in relation to soil organic matter (SOM) and calcium carbonate(CaCO3) content was studied, before and after experimental fires of different intensities, in two environments (under canopy and on bare soil). In 1995, two experimental fire treatments, based on the addition of different biomass amounts, were applied on a set of nine plots at the Permanent Field Station of La Concordia (Valencia, Spain). Three plots were burned with high intensity fire (T1), three with moderate intensity (T2) and three plots were left unburned to be used as control treatment (T3). Soils under canopy were characterized by higher macroaggregate stability (SMS), SOM content and mean weight diameter of aggregates (MWD) than bare soils, which presented higher CaCO3 contents. After the fires, tendencies to increase were observed in the SOM and SMS of all burned soils, probably because of the incorporation of partially burned plant material. The trends of SMS and SOM in T1 burned soils were towards to decrease with the occurrence of the first erosive rainfalls. These trends continued until the end of the study. MWD of under canopy soils on T1 and of soils on T2 showed a decreasing trend immediately after fire treatments. Not significant differences between sampling periods were found for CaCO3 content, with the exception of under canopy soils on T1 which tended to increase, and showed higher values at the end of the studied period. The differences observed initially between under canopy and bare soil disappeared after one year of fire in T1, which suggests a major degradation of soils affected by this treatment. Significant changes of the studied properties were not observed in unburned soils during one year of research. In these soils, organic matter showed significant correlations with macroaggregate stability and mean weight diameter. However, significant statistical relationships were not observed between the Studied properties in burned soils, showing that fire impact probably affected other soil characteristics related to soil aggregation.
Description7 páginas, 4 figuras, 3 tablas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2008.05.002
Appears in Collections:(CIDE) Artículos
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