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    Author(s): Marie Oliver; Jane Smith; Cassie Hebel
    Date: 2010
    Source: Science Findings 124. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.
    Publication Series: Science Findings
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (986.0 KB)

    Description

    Soil exposed to prolonged intense heat during a wildfire turns a distinctive red color. The heat volatilizes soil nutrients and kills subterranean microbial communities. Patches of severely burned red soil are found most frequently in areas that were heavily covered with down, dead wood before the fire. It has long been thought that exposure to such heat sterilized soil, leaving it more susceptible to invasion by nonnative plant species than less severely burned soils.

    based on science by Jane Smith and Cassie Hebel.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Oliver, Marie; Smith, Jane; Hebel, Cassie. 2010. Red but not dead: examining microbial and plant recovery in severely burned soils. Science Findings 124. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.

    Keywords

    red soil, severely burned soil, fire, invasive plants, native plants, B&B Fire. Jane Smith, Cassie Hebel.

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