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 450722
Title Hot fire, cool soil
Author(s) Stoof, C.R.; Moore, D.; Fernandes, P.; Stoorvogel, J.J.; Fernandes, R.; Ferreira, A.J.D.; Ritsema, C.J.
Source Geophysical Research Letters 40 (2013)8. - ISSN 0094-8276 - p. 1534 - 1539.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/grl.50299
Department(s) Soil Geography and Landscape
SS - Soil Physics and Land Use
Soil Physics and Land Management
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2013
Keyword(s) south-eastern australia - intensity - behavior - forest - temperatures - variability - erodibility - germination - california - vegetation
Abstract Wildfires greatly increase a landscape's vulnerability to flooding and erosion events by removing vegetation and changing soils. Fire damage to soil increases with increasing soil temperature, and, for fires where smoldering combustion is absent, the current understanding is that soil temperatures increase as fuel load and fire intensity increase. Here, however, we show that this understanding that is based on experiments under homogeneous conditions does not necessarily apply at the more relevant larger scale where soils, vegetation, and fire characteristics are heterogeneous. In a catchment-scale fire experiment, soils were surprisingly cool where fuel load was high and fire was hot and, conversely, soils were hot where expected to be cooler. This indicates that the greatest fire damage to soil can occur where fuel load and fire intensity are low rather than high, and has important implications for management of fire-prone areas prior to, during, and after fire events.
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