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    Author(s): W.W. Covington; S.S. Sackett
    Date: 1990
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-191. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 105-111.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (728.0 KB)

    Description

    Fire in southwestern ponderosa pine induces changes in soil properties including decreasing the amount of nutrients stored in fuels (forest floor, woody litter, and understory vegetation) increasing the amount of nutrients on the soil surface (the "ashbed effect"), and increasing the inorganic nitrogen and moisture content in the mineral soil. Soil temperatures are increased above lethal levels under heavy fuels, probably killing both microbes and roots. Soil pH appears not to be substantially affected by burning in this forest type. The greatest changes in soil properties occur where heavy fuels are consumed; therefore, the magnitude of the impacts for most soil characteristics should decrease along the sequence from piled slash, to old growth substands, to pole substands, to sapling stands.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Covington, W.W.; Sackett, S.S. 1990. Fire effects on ponderosa pine soils and their management implications. In: Krammes, J. S., tech. coord. Effects of fire management of southwestern natural resources. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-191. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 105-111.

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