Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 418301
Title Natural and fire-induced soil water repellency in a Portugese Shrubland
Author(s) Stoof, C.R.; Moore, D.; Ritsema, C.J.; Dekker, L.W.
Source Soil Science Society of America Journal 75 (2011)6. - ISSN 0361-5995 - p. 2283 - 2295.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2011.0046
Department(s) Soil Science Centre
SS - Soil Physics and Land Use
Land Degradation and Development
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) coarse-textured soils - forest soils - pine forests - hydrological behavior - eucalyptus-globulus - spatial variability - prescribed fire - sandy soil - hydrophobicity - moisture
Abstract Post-fire land degradation is often attributed to fire-induced soil water repellency, despite the fact that soil water repellency is a natural phenomenon in many soils and is therefore not necessarily caused by fire. To improve our understanding of the role of soil water repellency in causing fire-induced land degradation, a long-term monitoring study was performed in which the temporal variation of topsoil water repellency (0–2.5-cm depth) was captured in a Portuguese shrubland before and after fire between November 2007 and March 2010. In addition, similarities and dissimilarities between changes following burning and clipping were assessed in a plot experiment. Soil water repellency appeared to be the rule rather than the exception, both before and after fire, and was strongly related to soil moisture and organic matter content. Surprisingly, despite the low soil temperatures during the fire (60°C) and the lack of direct soil moisture changes, fire significantly increased the persistence of soil water repellency (the water drop penetration time). Vegetation removal by burning and clipping played a key role in determining post-fire water repellency in litter and at the soil surface and considerably reduced the time needed to both develop and eliminate water repellency of the litter and surface soil. Where pre-fire (or “natural”) soil water repellency is abundant, an increase in erosion after fire cannot be solely caused by soil water repellency. Nevertheless, fire-induced removal of the protective canopy cover may increase the hydrologic significance of soil water repellency in burned landscapes
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