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Open AccessArticle

Soil Functional Responses to Natural Ecosystem Restoration of a Pine Forest Peucedano-Pinetum after a Fire

1
Water Centre WULS, Institute of Environmental Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGW, Nowoursynowska 166, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
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Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Institute of Biology, Warsaw University of Life Sciences - SGGW, Nowoursynowska 166, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
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Department of Biometry, Institute of Agriculture, Warsaw University of Life Science, Nowoursynowska 159, 02-776 Warszawa, Poland
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Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Warsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGW, Nowoursynowska 166, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
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Institute of Biological Sciences, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Wóycickiego 1/3, 01-938 Warsaw, Poland
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Faculty of Safety Engineering and Civil Protection, The Main School of Fire Service, Słowackiego 52/54, 01-629 Warsaw, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(3), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11030286
Received: 23 January 2020 / Revised: 26 February 2020 / Accepted: 28 February 2020 / Published: 1 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Post-Fire Regeneration)
Progressing climate change increases the frequency of droughts and the risk of the occurrence of forest fires with an increasing range and a dramatic course. The availability of water and its movement within an ecosystem is a fundamental control of biological activity and physical properties, influencing many climatic processes, whereas soil water repellency (SWR) is a key phenomenon affecting water infiltration into the soil system. Focusing on wide-spectrum effects of fire on the soil system, the research was conducted on a pine stand (Peucedano-Pinetum W. Mat. (1962) 1973) in Kampinos National Park located in central Poland, affected by severe and weak fires, as well as control plots. The main aim of the study was to examine the regeneration of the ecosystem 28 months after the occurrence of a fire. The effect of SWR and soil moisture content, total organic carbon, nitrogen and pH, and gain an understanding of the environmental conditions and processes that shaped the evolution of the species structure of soil microorganism communities (fungal vs. bacterial) have been examined. The Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) test was used to assess spatial variability of SWR in 28 plots. Soil bacterial and fungal communities were analysed by Illumina’MISeq using 16S rRNA and Internal Transcribed Spacers 1 (ITS1) regions in six selected plots. After a relatively wet summer, elevated hydrophobicity occurred in areas affected by a weak fire as much as 20 cm into the soil depth. The severe fire and subsequent increase in the richness of the succession of non-forest species contributed to the elimination of hydrophobicity. SWR was more closely linked to the structure and diversity of soil microbial communities than soil physicochemical properties that took place in response to the fire. A statistically significant relationship between the relative occurrence of microorganisms (≥ 1.0% in at least one of the samples) and SWR was established for the following fungi and bacteria species: Archaeorhizomyces sp., Leotiomycetes sp., Byssonectria fusispora, Russula vesca, Geminibasidium sp., family Isosphaeraceae and Cyanobacteria (class 4C0d-2, order MLE1-12). Insight into the functional roles of the individual identified microbial taxa that may be responsible for the occurrence of hydrophobicity was also presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil water repellency; soil water content; soil microorganisms; fire severity; ecosystem services; climate change soil water repellency; soil water content; soil microorganisms; fire severity; ecosystem services; climate change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hewelke, E.; Górska, E.B.; Gozdowski, D.; Korc, M.; Olejniczak, I.; Prędecka, A. Soil Functional Responses to Natural Ecosystem Restoration of a Pine Forest Peucedano-Pinetum after a Fire. Forests 2020, 11, 286.

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