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Effects of Soil Abiotic and Biotic Factors on Tree Seedling Regeneration Following a Boreal Forest Wildfire

Ibáñez, Theresa Simona and Wardle, David and Gundale, Michael and Nilsson Hegethorn, Marie-Charlotte (2022). Effects of Soil Abiotic and Biotic Factors on Tree Seedling Regeneration Following a Boreal Forest Wildfire. Ecosystems. 25 :2 , 471-487
[Research article]

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Abstract

Wildfire disturbance is important for tree regeneration in boreal ecosystems. A considerable amount of literature has been published on how wildfires affect boreal forest regeneration. However, we lack understanding about how soil-mediated effects of fire disturbance on seedlings occur via soil abiotic properties versus soil biota. We collected soil from stands with three different severities of burning (high, low and unburned) and conducted two greenhouse experiments to explore how seedlings of tree species (Betula pendula, Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies) performed in live soils and in sterilized soil inoculated by live soil from each of the three burning severities. Seedlings grown in live soil grew best in unburned soil. When sterilized soils were reinoculated with live soil, seedlings of P. abies and P. sylvestris grew better in soil from low burn severity stands than soil from either high severity or unburned stands, demonstrating that fire disturbance may favor post-fire regeneration of conifers in part due to the presence of soil biota that persists when fire severity is low or recovers quickly post-fire. Betula pendula did not respond to soil biota and was instead driven by changes in abiotic soil properties following fire. Our study provides strong evidence that high fire severity creates soil conditions that are adverse for seedling regeneration, but that low burn severity promotes soil biota that stimulates growth and potential regeneration of conifers. It also shows that species-specific responses to abiotic and biotic soil characteristics are altered by variation in fire severity. This has important implications for tree regeneration because it points to the role of plant-soil-microbial feedbacks in promoting successful establishment, and potentially successional trajectories and species dominance in boreal forests in the future as fire regimes become increasingly severe through climate change.

Authors/Creators:Ibáñez, Theresa Simona and Wardle, David and Gundale, Michael and Nilsson Hegethorn, Marie-Charlotte
Title:Effects of Soil Abiotic and Biotic Factors on Tree Seedling Regeneration Following a Boreal Forest Wildfire
Series Name/Journal:Ecosystems
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:25
Number:2
Page range:471-487
Number of Pages:17
Publisher:SPRINGER
ISSN:1432-9840
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Soil Science
Keywords:Abiotic and biotic soil characteristics, Betula pendula, Boreal forest, Burn severity, Climate change, Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris, Plant-soil interactions, Tree seedling regeneration, Wildfire
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112973
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112973
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1007/s10021-021-00666-0
Web of Science (WoS)000670188700001
ID Code:27556
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:19 Apr 2022 04:25
Metadata Last Modified:19 Apr 2022 05:01

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