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Minor changes in soil organic carbon and charcoal concentrations detected in a temperate deciduous forest a year after an experimental slash-and-burn


Eckmeier, E; Gerlach, R; Skjemstad, J O; Ehrmann, O; Schmidt, M W I (2007). Minor changes in soil organic carbon and charcoal concentrations detected in a temperate deciduous forest a year after an experimental slash-and-burn. Biogeosciences, 4(3):377-383.

Abstract

Anthropogenic fires affected the temperate deciduous
forests of Central Europe over millennia. Biomass
burning releases carbon to the atmosphere and produces
charcoal, which potentially contributes to the stable soil carbon pools and is an important archive of environmental history. The fate of charcoal in soils of temperate deciduous forests, i.e. the processes of charcoal incorporation and transportation and the effects on soil organic matter are still not clear. We investigated the effects of slash-and-burn at a longterm experimental burning site and determined soil organic carbon and charcoal carbon concentrations as well as the soil
lightness of colour (L*) in the topmost soil material (0–1, 1–2.5 and 2.5–5 cm depths) before, immediately after the fire and one year later. The main results are that (i) only a few of the charcoal particles from the forest floor were incorporated into the soil matrix, presumably by soil mixing animals. In the 0–1 cm layer, during one year, the charcoal C concentration increased only by 0.4 g kg−1 and the proportion of charcoal C to SOC concentration increased from 2.8 to 3.4%; (ii) the SOC concentrations did not show any significant differences; (iii) soil lightness decreased significantly in the topmost soil layer and correlated well with the concentrations of charcoal C (r=−0.87**) and SOC (r=−0.94**) in the samples from the 0–5 cm layer. We concluded that Holocene biomass burning could have influenced soil charcoal concentrations and soil colour.

Abstract

Anthropogenic fires affected the temperate deciduous
forests of Central Europe over millennia. Biomass
burning releases carbon to the atmosphere and produces
charcoal, which potentially contributes to the stable soil carbon pools and is an important archive of environmental history. The fate of charcoal in soils of temperate deciduous forests, i.e. the processes of charcoal incorporation and transportation and the effects on soil organic matter are still not clear. We investigated the effects of slash-and-burn at a longterm experimental burning site and determined soil organic carbon and charcoal carbon concentrations as well as the soil
lightness of colour (L*) in the topmost soil material (0–1, 1–2.5 and 2.5–5 cm depths) before, immediately after the fire and one year later. The main results are that (i) only a few of the charcoal particles from the forest floor were incorporated into the soil matrix, presumably by soil mixing animals. In the 0–1 cm layer, during one year, the charcoal C concentration increased only by 0.4 g kg−1 and the proportion of charcoal C to SOC concentration increased from 2.8 to 3.4%; (ii) the SOC concentrations did not show any significant differences; (iii) soil lightness decreased significantly in the topmost soil layer and correlated well with the concentrations of charcoal C (r=−0.87**) and SOC (r=−0.94**) in the samples from the 0–5 cm layer. We concluded that Holocene biomass burning could have influenced soil charcoal concentrations and soil colour.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:12 Jun 2009 11:52
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 19:54
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
ISSN:1726-4170
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-4-377-2007
Official URL:http://www.biogeosciences.net/4/377/2007/bg-4-377-2007.html
Related URLs:http://www.biogeosciences.net/ (Publisher)

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