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Boreal forest soil carbon fluxes one year after a wildfire: Effects of burn severity and management

Kelly, Julia and Ibáñez, Theresa and Santin, Cristina and Doerr, Stefan H. and Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte and Holst, Thomas and Lindroth, Anders and Kljun, Natascha (2021). Boreal forest soil carbon fluxes one year after a wildfire: Effects of burn severity and management. Global Change Biology. 27 , 4181-4195
[Research article]

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Abstract

The extreme 2018 hot drought that affected central and northern Europe led to the worst wildfire season in Sweden in over a century. The Ljusdal fire complex, the largest area burnt that year (8995 ha), offered a rare opportunity to quantify the combined impacts of wildfire and post-fire management on Scandinavian boreal forests. We present chamber measurements of soil CO2 and CH4 fluxes, soil microclimate and nutrient content from five Pinus sylvestris sites for the first growing season after the fire. We analysed the effects of three factors on forest soils: burn severity, salvage-logging and stand age. None of these caused significant differences in soil CH4 uptake. Soil respiration, however, declined significantly after a high-severity fire (complete tree mortality) but not after a low-severity fire (no tree mortality), despite substantial losses of the organic layer. Tree root respiration is thus key in determining post-fire soil CO2 emissions and may benefit, along with heterotrophic respiration, from the nutrient pulse after a low-severity fire. Salvage-logging after a high-severity fire had no significant effects on soil carbon fluxes, microclimate or nutrient content compared with leaving the dead trees standing, although differences are expected to emerge in the long term. In contrast, the impact of stand age was substantial: a young burnt stand experienced more extreme microclimate, lower soil nutrient supply and significantly lower soil respiration than a mature burnt stand, due to a thinner organic layer and the decade-long effects of a previous clear-cut and soil scarification. Disturbance history and burn severity are, therefore, important factors for predicting changes in the boreal forest carbon sink after wildfires. The presented short-term effects and ongoing monitoring will provide essential information for sustainable management strategies in response to the increasing risk of wildfire.

Authors/Creators:Kelly, Julia and Ibáñez, Theresa and Santin, Cristina and Doerr, Stefan H. and Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte and Holst, Thomas and Lindroth, Anders and Kljun, Natascha
Title:Boreal forest soil carbon fluxes one year after a wildfire: Effects of burn severity and management
Series Name/Journal:Global Change Biology
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:27
Page range:4181-4195
Number of Pages:15
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:1354-1013
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Keywords:2018 drought, boreal forest, carbon fluxes, climate change, compound disturbance, forest fire, forest floor, harvesting, salvage-logging
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112530
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112530
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/gcb.15721
Web of Science (WoS)000659747300001
ID Code:25008
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:24 Aug 2021 14:23
Metadata Last Modified:24 Aug 2021 14:31

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