Advertisement

Biogeochemistry

, Volume 124, Issue 1–3, pp 145–161 | Cite as

In-stream sources and links between particulate and dissolved black carbon following a wildfire

  • Sasha Wagner
  • Kaelin M. Cawley
  • Fernando L. Rosario-Ortiz
  • Rudolf JafféEmail author
Article

Abstract

The occurrence of wildfires is expected to increase with the progression of climate change. These natural burn events can drastically alter the geomorphology and hydrology of affected areas and are one of the primary sources of black carbon (BC) in the environment. BC can be mobilized from soils and charcoal in fire-affected watersheds, potentially impacting downstream water quality. In June of 2012, the High Park Fire burned a large portion of the Cache La Poudre River watershed located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Seasonal riverine export of BC in both the dissolved (DBC) and particulate (PBC) phase was compared between burned and unburned sections of the watershed during the year following the High Park Fire. There was little difference in overall DBC concentration between sites, however seasonal changes in DBC quality reflected a shift in hydrology and associated DBC source between peak and base flow conditions. PBC export was substantially larger in fire-affected areas of the watershed during periods of overland flow. Our findings suggest that export processes of BC in the particulate and dissolved phase are decoupled in burned watersheds and that, in addition to DBC, the export of PBC could be a significant contributor to the cycling of charcoal in freshwater ecosystems.

Keywords

Wildfire Dissolved black carbon Particulate black carbon High Park Fire Charcoal River export 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank the George Barley Chair (to RJ) for financial support for this research. We are grateful to J. Oropeza for providing information on and designing the map for the Poudre River catchment area. J. Oropeza, A. Hohner, and E. Townsend are thanked for aiding in sample collection. S. Wagner and R. Jaffé thank D. Wiedemeier and M. Schmidt (University of Zurich) for their assistance in setting up the PBC analytical protocol. This is SERC contribution number 717.

References

  1. Abiven S, Hengartner P, Schneider MPW, Singh N, Schmidt MWI (2011) Pyrogenic carbon soluble fraction is larger and more aromatic in aged charcoal than in fresh charcoal. Soil Biol Biochem 43:1615–1617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alexis MA, Rumpel C, Knicker H, Leifeld J, Rasse D, Péchot N, Bardoux G, Mariotti A (2010) Thermal alteration of organic matter during a shrubland fire: a field study. Org Geochem 41:690–697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boot CM, Haddix M, Paustian K, Cotrufo MF (2014) Distribution of black carbon in Ponderosa pine litter and soils following the High Park wildfire. Biogeosci Discuss 11:16799–16824CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boyer EW, Hornberger GM, Bencala KE, McKnight DM (1997) Response characteristics of DOC flushing in an alpine catchment. Hydrol Process 11:1635–1647CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brodowski S, Amelung W, Haumaier L, Abetz C, Zech W (2005) Morphological and chemical properties of black carbon in physical soil fractions as revealed by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Geoderma 128:116–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bruun S, Jensen ES, Jensen LS (2008) Microbial mineralization and assimilation of black carbon: dependency on degree of thermal alteration. Org Geochem 39:839–845CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cerdá A, Doerr SH (2008) The effect of ash and needle cover on surface runoff and erosion in the immediate post-fire period. Catena 74:256–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen H, Abdulla HAN, Sanders RL, Myneni SCB, Mopper K, Hatcher PG (2014) Production of black carbon-like and aliphatic molecules from terrestrial dissolved organic matter in the presence of sunlight and iron. Environ Sci Technol 1:399–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cheng C-H, Lehmann J, Thies JE, Burton SD, Engelhard MH (2006) Oxidation of black carbon by biotic and abiotic processes. Org Geochem 37:1477–1488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cheng C-H, Lehmann J, Thies JE, Burton SD (2008) Stability of black carbon in soils across a climatic gradient. J Geophys Res 113:G02027. doi: 10.1029/2007JG000642 Google Scholar
  11. Clow DW (2010) Changes in the timing of snowmelt and streamflow in Colorado: a response to recent warming. J Clim 23:2293–2306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coppola AI, Ziolkowski LA, Masiello CA, Druffel ERM (2014) Aged black carbon in marine sediments and sinking particles. Geophys Res Lett 41:2427–2433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Czimczik CI, Masiello CA (2007) Controls on black carbon in soils. Glob Biogeochem Cycles 21:GC3005. doi: 10.1029/2006GB002798 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Czimczik CI, Preston CM, Schmidt MWI, Schulze ED (2003) How surface fire in Siberian Scots pine forests affects soil organic carbon in the forest floor: stocks, molecular structure, and conversion to black carbon (charcoal). Glob Biogeochem Cycles 17:1020. doi: 10.1029/2002GB001956 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ding Y, Yamashita Y, Dodds WK, Jaffé R (2013) Dissolved black carbon in grassland streams: Is there an effect of recent fire history? Chemosphere 90:2557–2562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dittmar T (2008) The molecular level determination of black carbon in marine dissolved organic matter. Org Geochem 39:396–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dittmar T, Koch B, Hertkorn N, Kattner G (2008) A simple and efficient method for the solid-phase extraction of dissolved organic matter (SPE-DOM) from seawater. Limnol Oceanogr 6:230–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dittmar T, de Rezende CE, Manecki M, Niggemann J, Ovalle ARC, Stubbins A, Bernardes MC (2012) Continuous flux of dissolved organic carbon from a vanished tropical forest biome. Nat Geosci 5:618–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Flannigan MD, Krawchuk MA, de Groot WJ, Wotton BM, Gowman LM (2009) Implications of changing climate for global wildland fire. Int J Wildland Fire 18:483–507CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Florsheim JL, Keller EA, Best DW (1991) Fluvial sediment transport in response to moderate storm flows following chaparral wildfire, Ventura County, southern California. Geol Soc Am Bull 103:504–511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Forbes MS, Raison RJ, Skjemstad JO (2006) Formation, transformation and transport of black carbon (charcoal) in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Sci Total Environ 370:190–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Glaser B, Balashov E, Haumaier L, Guggenberger G, Zech W (2000) Black carbon in density fractions of anthropogenic soils of the Brazilian Amazon region. Org Geochem 31:669–678CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Goldberg E (1985) Black carbon in the environment. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. Guggenberger G, Rodionov A, Shibistova O, Grabe M, Kasansky OA, Fuchs H, Mikeyeva N, Zrazhevskaya G, Flessa H (2008) Storage and mobility of black carbon in permafrost soils of the forest tundra ecotone in Northern Siberia. Glob Change Biol 14:1367–1381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hedges JI, Eglinton G, Hatcher PG, Kirchman DL, Arnosti C, Derenne S, Evershed RP, Kögel-Knaber I, de Leew JW, Littke R, Michaelis W, Rullkötter J (2000) The molecularly-uncharacterized component of nonliving organic matter in natural environments. Org Geochem 31:945–958CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hilscher A, Knicker H (2011) Carbon and nitrogen degradation on molecular scale of grass-derived pyrogenic organic material during 28 months of incubation in soil. Soil Biol Biochem 43:261–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hornberger GM, Bencala KE, McKnight DM (1994) Hydrological controls on dissolved organic carbon during snowmelt in the Snake River near Montezuma, Colorado. Biogeochemistry 25:147–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jaffé R, Ding Y, Niggeman J, Vähätalo AV, Stubbins A, Spencer RGM, Campbell J, Dittmar T (2013) Global charcoal mobilization via dissolution and riverine transport to the oceans. Science 340:345–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Johansen MP, Hakonson TE, Breshears DD (2001) Post-fire runoff and erosion from rainfall simulation: contrasting forests with shrublands and grasslands. Hydrol Process 15:2953–2965CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Knicker H (2011) Soil organic N—an under-rated player for C sequestration in soils? Soil Biol Biochem 43:1118–1129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Knicker H, Almendros G, González-Vila FJ, González-Pérez JA, Polvillo O (2006) Characteristic alterations of quantity and quality of soil organic matter caused by forest fires in continental Mediterranean ecosystems: a solid-state 13C NMR study. Eur J Soil Sci 57:558–569CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Knicker H, Hilscher A, González-Vila FJ, Almendros G (2008) A new conceptual model for the structural properties of char produced during vegetation fires. Org Geochem 39:935–939CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kothawala DN, Roehm C, Blodau C, Moore TR (2012) Selective adsorption of dissolved organic matter to mineral soils. Geoderma 189–190:334–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Krawchuk MA, Moritz MA, Parisien M-A, Van Dorn J, Hayhoe K (2009) Global pyrogeography: the current and future distribution of wildfire. PLoS One 4:e5102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lambert T, Pierson-Wickmann A-C, Gruau G, Thibault J-N, Jaffrezic A (2011) Carbon isotopes as tracers of dissolved organic carbon sources and water pathways in headwater catchments. J Hydrol 402:228–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lane PNJ, Sheridan GJ, Noske PJ (2006) Changes in sediment loads and discharge from small mountain catchments following wildfire in south eastern Australia. J Hydrol 331:495–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. LeCroy C, Masiello CA, Rudgers JA, Hockaday WC, Silberg JJ (2013) Nitrogen, biochar, and mycorrhizae: alteration of the symbiosis and oxidation of the char surface. Soil Biol Biochem 58:248–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lehmann J, Liang B, Solomon D, Lerotic M, Luizão F, Kinyangi J, Schäfer T, Wirick S, Jacobsen C (2005) Near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy for mapping nano-scale distribution of organic carbon forms in soil: application to black carbon particles. Global Biogeochem Cycles 19:GB1013. doi: 10.1029/2004GB002435 Google Scholar
  39. Liang B, Lehmann J, Solomon D, Sohi S, Thies JE, Skjemstad JO, Luizão FJ, Engelhard MH, Neves EG, Wirick S (2008) Stability of biomass-derived black carbon in soils. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 72:6069–6078CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Loáiciga HA, Pedreros D, Roberts D (2001) Wildfire-streamflow interactions in a chapparal watershed. Adv Environ Res 5:295–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Masiello CA (2004) New directions in black carbon organic geochemistry. Mar Chem 92:201–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Masiello CA, Louchouarn P (2013) Fire in the ocean. Science 340:287–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Moody JA, Martin DA (2001) Initial hydrologic and geomorphic response following a wildfire in the Colorado Front Range. Earth Surf Process Landf 26:1049–1070CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Moody JA, Martin DA (2009) Synthesis of sediment yields after wildland fire in different rainfall regimes in the western United States. Int J Wildland Fire 18:96–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Myers-Pigg AN, Louchouarn P, Amon RMW, Prokushkin A, Pierce K, Rubtsov A (2015) Labile pyrogenic dissolved organic carbon in major Siberian Arctic rivers: implications for wildfire-stream metabolic linkages. Geophys Res Lett. doi: 10.1002/2014GL062762 Google Scholar
  46. Nguyen BT, Lehmann J (2009) Black carbon decomposition under varying water regimes. Org Geochem 40:846–853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Nguyen BT, Lehmann J, Hockaday WC, Joseph S, Masiello CA (2010) Temperature sensitivity of black carbon decomposition and oxidation. Environ Sci Technol 44:3324–3331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Norwood MJP, Louchouarn P, Kou LJ, Harvey OR (2013) Characterization and biodegradation of water-soluble biomarkers and organic carbon extracted from low temperature chars. Org Geochem 56:111–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Preston CM, Schmidt MWI (2006) Black (pyrogenic) carbon: a synthesis of current knowledge and uncertainties with special consideration of boreal regions. Biogeosciences 3:397–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Raymond P, Bauer JE (2001) Use of 14C and 13C natural abundances for evaluating riverine, estuarine and coastal DOC and POC sources and cycling: a review and synthesis. Org Geochem 32:469–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Reneau SL, Katzman D, Kuyumjian GA, Lavine A, Malmon DV (2007) Sediment delivery after a wildfire. Geology 35:151–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Roth PJ, Lehndorff E, Brodowski S, Bornemann L, Sánchez-García L, Gustafsson Ö, Amelung W (2012) Differentiation of charcoal, soot and diagenetic carbon in soil: method comparison and perspectives. Org Geochem 46:66–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rumpel C, Chaplot V, Planchon O, Bernadou J, Valentin C, Mariotti A (2006) Preferential erosion of black carbon on steep slopes with slash and burn agriculture. Catena 65:30–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Saiz G, Wynn JG, Wurster CM, Goodrick I, Nelson PN, Bird MI (2014) Pyrogenic carbon from tropical savanna burning: production and stable isotope composition. Biogeosci Discuss 11:15149–15183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sánchez-García L, de Andrés JR, Gélinas Y, Schmidt MWI, Louchouarn P (2013) Different pools of black carbon in sediments from the Gulf of Cádiz (SW Spain): method comparison and spatial distribution. Mar Chem 151:13–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sanderman J, Lohse KA, Baldock JA, Amundson R (2009) Linking soils and streams: sources and chemistry of dissolved organic matter in a small coastal watershed. Water Resour Res 45:W03418. doi: 10.1029/2008WR006977 Google Scholar
  57. Schneider MPW, Hilf M, Vogt UF, Schmidt MWI (2010) The benzene polycarboxylic acid (BPCA) pattern of wood pyrolyzed between 200 °C and 1000 °C. Org Geochem 41:1082–1088CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Schneider MPW, Smittenberg RH, Dittmar T, Schmidt MWI (2011) Comparison of gas with liquid chromatography for the determination of benzenepolycarboxylic acids as molecular tracers of black carbon. Org Geochem 42:275–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Shakesby RA, Doerr SH (2006) Wildfire as a hydrological and geomorphological agent. Earth Sci Rev 74:269–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Singh N, Abiven S, Torn MS, Schmidt MWI (2012) Fire-derived organic carbon in soil turns over on a centennial scale. Biogeosciences 9:2847–2857CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Smith HG, Sheridan GJ, Lane PNJ, Nyman P, Haydon S (2011) Wildfire effects on water quality in forest catchments: a review with implications for water supply. J Hydrol 396:170–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Stoof CR, Vervoort RW, Iwema J, van den Elsen E, Ferreira AJD, Ritsema CJ (2012) Hydrological response of a small catchment burned by experimental fire. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 16:267–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Stubbins A, Niggemann J, Dittmar T (2012) Photo-lability of deep ocean dissolved black carbon. Biogeosciences 9:1661–1670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Uher G, Hughes C, Henry G, Upstill-Goddard RC (2001) Non-conservative mixing behavior of colored dissolved organic matter in a humic-rich, turbid estuary. Geophys Res Lett 28:3309–3312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wagner S, Dittmar T, Jaffé R (2015) Molecular characterization of dissolved black nitrogen by electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry. Org Geochem 79:21–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Westerling AL, Hidalgo HG, Cayan DR, Swetnam TW (2006) Warming and earlier spring increase western U.S. forest wildfire activity. Science 313:940–943CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Yang W, Guo L (2014) Abundance, distribution and isotopic composition of particulate black carbon in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Geophys Res Lett 41:7619–7625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Zigah PK, Minor EC, Werne JP (2012) Radiocarbon and stable-isotope geochemistry of organic and inorganic carbon in Lake Superior. Global Biogeochem Cycles 26:GB1023. doi: 10.1029/2011GB004132 Google Scholar
  69. Ziolkowski LA, Chamberlin AR, Greaves J, Druffel ERM (2011) Quantification of black carbon in marine systems using the benzene polycarboxylic acid method: a mechanistic and yield study. Limnol Oceanogr 9:140–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sasha Wagner
    • 1
  • Kaelin M. Cawley
    • 2
  • Fernando L. Rosario-Ortiz
    • 2
  • Rudolf Jaffé
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Southeast Environmental Research Center and Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryFlorida International UniversityNorth MiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR)University of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA

Personalised recommendations