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Forests 2017, 8(7), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8070247

Effectiveness of Polyacrylamide, Wood Shred Mulch, and Pine Needle Mulch as Post-Fire Hillslope Stabilization Treatments in Two Contrasting Volcanic Soils

1
Department of Geography, College of Science, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, West Glamorgan, UK
2
Departamento de Biología Animal y Edafología y Geología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), Av. Astrofísico Fco. Sánchez s/n, La Laguna 38200, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 May 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 12 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Post-Fire Management Activities on Forests)
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Abstract

Post-fire hillslope stabilization treatments aim to reduce runoff-erosion risks following forest fires by counteracting the impact of fire on key soil and hillslope properties. Here we evaluate the effectiveness of wood shred mulch, long-leaved pine needle mulch, and polyacrylamide (PAM) in reducing post-fire runoff and erosion in two volcanic soil types of contrasting wettability using rainfall simulations (55 mm h−1 for 30 min) at the microplot (0.25 m2) scale. The cover provided by the wood shreds and pine needles led to a reduction of runoff and erosion in both the wettable—(62% and 92%, respectively, for wood shreds, and 55% and 87%, respectively, for needle mulch) and the extremely water-repellent soils (44% and 61%, respectively, for wood shreds). In contrast to what might be expected, PAM did not reduce runoff or erosion when applied to the extremely water-repellent soils, suggesting that PAM should not be applied in this terrain type. Although more research is needed to determine whether the high effectiveness of pine needle mulch and wood shred mulch fully translates to coarser scales, the results are encouraging in terms of these materials’ ability to provide effective and relatively economic mitigation treatments for fire-induced runoff-erosion risks in volcanic soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest fires; emergency treatments; fire-induced risks; runoff-erosion processes; water repellency; forest recovery; volcanic soils forest fires; emergency treatments; fire-induced risks; runoff-erosion processes; water repellency; forest recovery; volcanic soils
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Neris, J.; Doerr, S.H.; Notario del Pino, J.S.; Arbelo, C.D.; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, A. Effectiveness of Polyacrylamide, Wood Shred Mulch, and Pine Needle Mulch as Post-Fire Hillslope Stabilization Treatments in Two Contrasting Volcanic Soils. Forests 2017, 8, 247.

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