Special Issue "The Effects of Fire on Peatland Ecosystems"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. G. Matt Davies
Website
Guest Editor
School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Interests: ecosystem restoration; fire behavior; fire ecology; multivariate statistics; peatland ecosystem management and restoration; soil science; vegetation community ecology; wildland fire management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Peatlands are globally significant ecosystems contributing vital ecosystem services, including regulation of catchment hydrology, provision of habitat for game and wildlife and resources for agriculture. Peatlands also store vast quantities of ancient carbon belowground and there is rightly concern over how this is affected by processes including climate change and land-use conversion. Peatlands in tundra, boreal, temperate and tropical regions regularly experience both natural and anthropogenic wildfires and the incidence and severity of these are projected to increase under a changing climate. Whilst some peatlands can show significant ecological and hydrological resilience to the impacts of wildfire, this can vary substantially across gradients of burn severity and pre-fire anthropogenic land-use. Severe peatland wildfires can release large quantities of carbon to the atmosphere from smouldering combustion, alter fluxes of gaseous and dissolved carbon, impact water quality and lead to long-term changes in community composition. Understanding how fire regimes (variation in the frequency, intensity, severity, seasonality and extent of fire, and its interaction with other disturbances) affect the structure and function of peatlands is critical for addressing their sustainable management and restoration, as well as potential feedbacks between climate change and peatland wildfire. This Special Issue focuses on how fire regimes impact the composition and diversity of peatland ecosystems. This focus ranges across spatial, temporal and ecological scales—from patches to landscapes, immediate impacts to long-term trends, and genes to communities. Papers focusing on microbial, plant and wildlife populations and communities are equally welcome, as are those that seek to link diversity and composition to fire-induced changes in ecosystem function.

Prof. Dr. G. Matt Davies
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Increased Peatland Nutrient Availability Following the Fort McMurray Horse River Wildfire
Diversity 2019, 11(9), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11090142 - 22 Aug 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Northern peatlands are experiencing increased wildfire disturbance, threatening peatland biogeochemical function and ability to remain major stores of carbon (C) and macronutrients (nitrogen—N, and phosphorus—P). The impacts of climate change-driven drying on peatland nutrient dynamics have been explored previously; however, the impacts of [...] Read more.
Northern peatlands are experiencing increased wildfire disturbance, threatening peatland biogeochemical function and ability to remain major stores of carbon (C) and macronutrients (nitrogen—N, and phosphorus—P). The impacts of climate change-driven drying on peatland nutrient dynamics have been explored previously; however, the impacts of wildfire on nutrient dynamics have not been examined when comparing burned and unburned areas in a post-fire fen. This study assessed the impact of wildfire on N and P bioavailability, change in CNP stoichiometric balance and feedback on plant nutrient limitation patterns in a fen peatland, one-year post-wildfire, by comparing Burned and Unburned areas. Water extractable P increased up to 200 times in shallow leachate, 125 times in groundwater and 5 times in peat. Surface ash leachate had increased concentrations in Ammonium (NH4+) and Nitrate (NO3), and through groundwater mobility, increased extractable N concentrations were observed in peat throughout the entire fen. The net mineralization of N and P were minimal at the Burned areas relative to Unburned areas. Fire affected plant nutrient limitation patterns, switching from dominantly N-limited to NP co-limited and P-limitation in moss and vascular species respectively. The top 20 cm of the Burned area C concentrations was higher relative to the Unburned area, with increased CN and CP ratios also being found in the Burned area. These findings suggest that the long-term effects of elevated C, N, and P concentrations on plant productivity and decomposition must be re-evaluated for fire disturbance to understand the resiliency of peatland biogeochemistry post-wildfire. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Fire on Peatland Ecosystems)
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