Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 109–116

Short-term effect of wildfire on the chemical, biochemical and microbiological properties of Mediterranean pine forest soils

Authors

  • T. Hernández
    • Department of Soil and Water Conservation and Organic Waste Management, Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CSIC), PO Box 4195, E-30080 Murcia, Spain
  • C. García
    • Department of Soil and Water Conservation and Organic Waste Management, Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CSIC), PO Box 4195, E-30080 Murcia, Spain
  • I. Reinhardt
    • Department of Soil and Water Conservation and Organic Waste Management, Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CSIC), PO Box 4195, E-30080 Murcia, Spain
ORIGINAL PAPER

DOI: 10.1007/s003740050289

Cite this article as:
Hernández, T., García, C. & Reinhardt, I. Biol Fertil Soils (1997) 25: 109. doi:10.1007/s003740050289

Abstract

The short-term effects of wildfire on the characteristics of Mediterranean pine forest soils, exposed to semiarid climatic conditions, were evaluated by measuring different chemical, biochemical and microbiological parameters 9 months after the fire. Soils in which the fire had been intense showed higher electrical conductivity values than unburnt soils. All burnt soils had higher contents of nitrates, exchangeable NH4+ and available P and K while their contents of total organic C, extractable C, humic acids, water-soluble C and total and water-soluble carbohydrates were, in general, lower than those of unburnt soils. Microbial biomass-C in burnt soils represented from 50% to 79% of that of unburnt soils; basal respiration and dehydrogenase activity were also negatively affected by fire. In general, fire decreased urease and N-α-benzoyl-l-argininamide hydrolysing protease activities. Alkaline phosphatase activity in burnt soils was 29–87% that of the respective unburnt control soil. Arylsulphatase activity was also lower in burnt soils as was β-glucosidase activity, although in this case the differences from values of unburnt soils were not always statistically significant.

Key words Basal respirationMicrobial biomass-CCarbon fractionsHydrolase activityMacronutrientsWildfire

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997