Wildfire effects on biological properties of soils in forest-steppe ecosystems of Russia
E. Maksimova1,2 and E. Abakumov1,21Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation 2Institute of Ecology of Volga basin, Togljatty, Russian Federation
Received: 01 Dec 2013 – Accepted for review: 14 Dec 2013 – Discussion started: 09 Jan 2014
Abstract. Soils affected by forest wildfires in 2010 in Russia were studied on postfire and mature plots near the Togljatty city, Samara region. Soil biological properties and ash composition dynamics were investigated under the forest fire affect: a place of local forest fire, riding forest fire and unaffected site by fire-control (mature) during 3 yr of restoration. Soil samples were collected at 0–15 cm. Soil biological properties was measured by the fumigation method. The analytical data obtained shows that wildfires lead to serious changes in a soil profile and soil chemistry of upper horizons. Wildfires change a chemical composition of soil horizons and increase their ash-content. Fires lead to accumulation of biogenic elements' content (P and K) in the solum fine earth. Calcium content is increased as a result of fires that leads to an alkaline pH of the solum. The values of nutrients decreased as a result of leaching out with an atmospheric precipitation during the second year of restoration. Thus, when the upper horizons are burning the ash arriving on a soil surface enrich it with nutrients. The mature (unaffected by fire) soils is characterized by the greatest values of soil microbial biomass in the top horizon and, respectively, the bigger values of basal respiration whereas declining of the both parameters was revealed on postfire soils. Nevertheless this influence does not extend on depth more than 10 cm. Thus, fire affect on the soil were recognized in decreasing of microbiological activity.
Maksimova, E. and Abakumov, E.: Wildfire effects on biological properties of soils in forest-steppe ecosystems of Russia, Solid Earth Discuss., 6, 71-90, doi:10.5194/sed-6-71-2014, 2014.