Fire-adapted forests of the Lake States region are poorly studied relative to those of the western and southeastern United States and our knowledge base of regional short- and long-term fire effects on soils is limited. We compiled and assessed the body of literature addressing fire effects on soils in Lake States forests to facilitate the re-measurement of previous studies for the development of new long-term datasets, and to identify existing gaps in the regional knowledge of fire effects on forest soils. Most studies reviewed addressed fire effects on chemical properties in pine-dominated forests, and long-term (>10 years) studies were limited. The major gaps in knowledge we identified include: (1) information on fire temperature and behavior information that would enhance interpretation of fire effects; (2) underrepresentation of the variety of forest types in the Lake States region; (3) information on nutrient fluxes and ecosystem processes; and (4) fire effects on soil organisms. Resolving these knowledge gaps via future research will provide for a more comprehensive understanding of fire effects in Lake States forest soils. Advancing the understanding of fire effects on soil processes and patterns in Lake States forests is critical for designing regionally appropriate long-term forest planning and management activities.
Miesel, Jessica; Goebel, P.; Corace, R.; Hix, David; Kolka, Randall; Palik, Brian; Mladenoff, David. 2012. Fire effects on soils in Lake States forests: A compilation of published research to facilitate long-term investigations. Forests. 3(4): 1034-1070.