Skip to Main Content
Wildfire alters belowground and surface wood decomposition on two national forests in Montana, USAAuthor(s): Deborah S. Page-Dumroese; Martin F. Jurgensen; Chris A. Miller; James B. Pickens; Joanne M. Tirocke
Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire. 28: 456-469.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Download Publication (488.0 KB)
DescriptionWildfires can drastically alter belowground processes such as organic matter (OM) decomposition. We used wood stakes of two different tree species, trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.), placed at three soil locations (soil surface, forest floor-mineral soil interface, mineral soil), as an index of the long-term (5-year) effects of wildfire on OM decomposition in two forest stands after high-severity wildfire and in an unburned control. Wood stake mass loss was generally higher for aspen, especially in the mineral soil of burned plots, than in control plots after 5 years. Soil surface and interface (unburned stands only) stakes showed few significant differences for either species on the Bitterroot National Forest. On the Gallatin National Forest, both pine and aspen stakes had significantly greater mass loss at the interface (unburned stand) at the end of 5 years, and also decayed significantly faster at the 10-20-cm depth in the wildfire area. Using wood stakes as an index of soil microsite properties in burned and unburned plots, we show that fire increased both OM decomposition and mineral soil microsite variability. These results strengthen our understanding of soil-surface and belowground ecosystem responses to wildfire.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- 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.
CitationPage-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Miller, Chris A.; Pickens, James B.; Tirocke, Joanne M. 2019. Wildfire alters belowground and surface wood decomposition on two national forests in Montana, USA. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 28: 456-469.
KeywordsBitterroot National Forest, Gallatin National Forest, organic matter, Pinus taeda, Populus tremuloides, soil microsite
- Effectiveness of a confinement strategy in reducing pack stock impacts at campsites in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, Idaho
- ECO-Report - Finding common ground: Montana Forest Restoration Committee
- Spotted knapweed (Centaurea biebersteinii DC) response to forest wildfires on the Bitterroot National Forest, Montana
XML: View XML