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Forests 2017, 8(7), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8070248

Soil Respiration Changes after Prescribed Fires in Spanish Black Pine (Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii) Monospecific and Mixed Forest Stands

1
Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos y de Montes (ETSIAM), Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Campus Universitario s/n, 02071 Albacete, Spain
2
Centro de Investigación Forestal-Lourizán, Consellería do Medio Rural, Xunta de Galicia, P.O. Box 127, 36080 Pontevedra, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Xavier Úbeda and Victoria Arcenegui
Received: 25 April 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 6 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Post-Fire Management Activities on Forests)
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Abstract

Soil respiration is a major carbon pathway sensitive to environmental changes. Using prescribed burnings to reduce fuel accumulation and lower risks of large-scale wildfires has recently become more important. Prescribed burning can significantly alter the soil environment, but its effect in practice on soil respiration is not sufficiently understood. We evaluated the effects of prescribed burning on soil respiration before and after burning (May–July 2016). Prescribed burning was conducted in two natural pine areas by comparing a mixed stand of Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii with Pinus pinaster Ait. to a pure stand of Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii in the central Iberian Peninsula. Soil respiration was measured by an EGM-4 (Environmental Gas Monitor) infrared gas analyser in both burned and unburned (control) plots. Burnings were low-intensity, and slightly more energetic in the pure stand given its larger litter volume. Post-burning soil respiration followed a similar evolution to that in the control plots, but was greater in the pure stand burned zone and slightly lower in the burned plots in the mixed stand. No significant differences were found in any stand. Soil respiration significantly changed in temporal evolution due to increasing temperatures when summer began. We conclude that prescribed fire induces no changes in SR immediately after fire. This study helps understand how prescribed burnings can affect soil respiration in pure and mixed Spanish black pine forest stands. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil properties; low-intensity fire; forest fires; microbiological soil properties; soil quality; soil CO2 efflux soil properties; low-intensity fire; forest fires; microbiological soil properties; soil quality; soil CO2 efflux
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Plaza-Álvarez, P.A.; Lucas-Borja, M.E.; Sagra, J.; Moya, D.; Fontúrbel, T.; de las Heras, J. Soil Respiration Changes after Prescribed Fires in Spanish Black Pine (Pinus nigra Arn. ssp. salzmannii) Monospecific and Mixed Forest Stands. Forests 2017, 8, 248.

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