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Article

Effects of the Severity of Wildfires on Some Physical-Chemical Soil Properties in a Humid Montane Scrublands Ecosystem in Southern Ecuador

1
Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas y Agropecuarias, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, San Cayetano Alto s/n, Loja 1101608, Ecuador
2
Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Campus Fábricas de Armas, 45071 Toledo, Spain
3
Departamento de Ciencias Jurídicas, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, San Cayetano Alto s/n, Loja 1101608, Ecuador
4
Departamento de Biología Animal, Biología Vegetal y Ecología, Sección de Ecología, Universidad de Jaén, España, Campus Las Lagunillas, Edificio Ciencias Experimentales y de la Salud (B3), 23071 Jaén, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Gabriel de Oliveira, Renata Libonati, Liana Anderson, Celso Henrique Leite Silva Junior and Guilherme Mataveli
Received: 7 March 2022 / Revised: 4 May 2022 / Accepted: 5 May 2022 / Published: 13 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegetation Fires in South America)
Humid montane scrublands (HMs) represent one of the least studied ecosystems in Ecuador, which in the last decade have been seriously threatened by the increase in wildfires. Our main objective was to evaluate the effects of wildfire severity on physicochemical soil properties in the HMs of southern Ecuador. For this purpose, fire severity was measured using the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) and the difference between pre-fire and post-fire (NBR Pre-fire-NBR Post-fire) over three contrasted periods (years 2019, 2017, and 2015) was determined. Likewise, 72 soil samples from burned HMs and 72 soil samples from unburned HMs were collected at a depth of 0 to 10 cm, and some physical (bulk density and texture) and biochemical (pH, soil organic matter, and total nutrients) soil properties were analyzed and statistically processed by one-way ANOVA and principal component analysis (PCA). Results indicate that burned HMs showed mixed-severity burning patterns and that in the most recent wildfires that are of high severity, SOM, N, P, Cu, and Zn contents decreased drastically (PCA: component 1); in addition, there was an increase in soil compaction (PCA: component 2). However, in older wildfires, total SOM, N, P, K, and soil pH content increases with time compared even to HMs that never burned (p-value < 0.05). These results can help decision makers in the design of policies, regulations, and proposals for the environmental restoration of HMs in southern Ecuador affected by wildfires. View Full-Text
Keywords: humid montane scrublands; wildfire severity; soil properties humid montane scrublands; wildfire severity; soil properties
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MDPI and ACS Style

Carrión-Paladines, V.; Hinojosa, M.B.; Jiménez Álvarez, L.; Reyes-Bueno, F.; Correa Quezada, L.; García-Ruiz, R. Effects of the Severity of Wildfires on Some Physical-Chemical Soil Properties in a Humid Montane Scrublands Ecosystem in Southern Ecuador. Fire 2022, 5, 66. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire5030066

AMA Style

Carrión-Paladines V, Hinojosa MB, Jiménez Álvarez L, Reyes-Bueno F, Correa Quezada L, García-Ruiz R. Effects of the Severity of Wildfires on Some Physical-Chemical Soil Properties in a Humid Montane Scrublands Ecosystem in Southern Ecuador. Fire. 2022; 5(3):66. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire5030066

Chicago/Turabian Style

Carrión-Paladines, Vinicio, María B. Hinojosa, Leticia Jiménez Álvarez, Fabián Reyes-Bueno, Liliana Correa Quezada, and Roberto García-Ruiz. 2022. "Effects of the Severity of Wildfires on Some Physical-Chemical Soil Properties in a Humid Montane Scrublands Ecosystem in Southern Ecuador" Fire 5, no. 3: 66. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire5030066

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