, Volume 120, Issue 1, pp 69-77

Nutrient losses during a winter low-intensity prescribed fire in a Mediterranean forest

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Losses of N, P, K and Ca were measured during a prescribed burning in a French MediterraneanPinus halepensis forest, with understorey ofQuercus coccifera. Nutrient loss was measured by difference between the quantity of a nutrient in the fuel before burning and that found in the postfire remains which were harvested or recovered in small trays. Reduction in fuel weight amounted to 77%, losses from initial fuel elements amounted to 77% for N, 54% for K and 35% for P. No significative loss of Ca was measured. Burning resulted in 7 t ha−1 fuel reduction and in loss of 55 kg ha−1N, 8.5 kg ha−1K and 1.0 kg ha−1P.