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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 20(2)

Effects of soil burn severity on germination and initial establishment of maritime pine seedlings, under greenhouse conditions, in two contrasting experimentally burned soils

M. T. Fontúrbel A, J. A. Vega A B, P. Pérez-Gorostiaga A, C. Fernández A, M. Alonso A, P. Cuiñas A and E. Jiménez A

A Centro de Investigación Forestal, Lourizán, Consellería de Medio Rural, Xunta de Galicia, PO Box 127, E-36080 Pontevedra, Spain.
B Corresponding author. Email: jose.antonio.vega.hidalgo@xunta.es

International Journal of Wildland Fire 20(2) 209-222 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF08116
Submitted: 7 July 2008  Accepted: 16 July 2010   Published: 30 March 2011

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The effects of soil burn severity on initial establishment of maritime pine in burned areas are not well known. Many factors may interact in the field, thus making it difficult to determine the exact role played by soil burn severity in the post-fire regeneration process. Monoliths of two contrasting soils – an acid, coarse-textured soil, with high organic matter content, and a neutral heavy-textured soil with low organic matter content – were experimentally burned to provide two markedly different levels of soil burn severity. The burned monoliths were sown with Pinus pinaster seeds and then placed in a greenhouse under a preselected water regime to determine the effect of burn severity on emergence and initial establishment of pine seedlings. High soil burn severity in the coarse-textured soils delayed germination, increased mortality and temporarily decreased the height of pine seedlings in the first year after sowing. This response was affected by: soil heating level, soil C consumption, post-fire soil C, depth of burn and post-fire duff-depth. Ash had no influence on the above processes. These factors did not explain the variability in the response of regeneration variables in the heavy-textured soils. The applicability of the results to field conditions is discussed.

Additional keywords: fire, Pinus pinaster, post-fire regeneration.


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