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Formation of post-fire water repellent layers on Nothofagus glauca (Hualo) forests, after the historical “Las Maquinas” wildfire in south-central ChileAuthor(s): Pablo A. Garcia-Chevesich; Eduardo Martínez; Alejandro García; Miguel Castillo; Roberto Garfias; Daniel Neary; Roberto Pizarro; Rodrigo Valdes; Luis Gonzalez; Hector L. Venegas-Quinones; Carlos Magni
Source: American Journal of Environmental Sciences. 15 (1): 1.6.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
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DescriptionThe Chilean summer of 2017 was the worst wildfire season by far. Hundreds of wildfires burned a total of more than half a million hectares of forested land (native forests and forest plantations). A significant portion of the burned area was occupied by Hualo (Nothofagus glauca (Phil.) Krasser), a native forest species widely distributed in central Chile. Using the water-drop-penetration-time method, post-fire water repellency was evaluated at different depths (on the mineral soil surface and 5 mm below it) for a Hualo stand. Comparative data were obtained from a neighboring 11-year-old Monterrey pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) plantation. Both stands were located near Santa Olga, one of the towns that were totally consumed by the wildfire. A Chi-Square statistical analysis was used to determine significant differences among stands and soil depths. Results suggested that the abundant Hualo native forest species exhibited strong potentials to form fire-induced water repellent layers. Differences were mainly in depth between the two species. As wildfires in Chile are expected to increase in frequency and intensity, the authors strongly recommend post-fire flood control practices on Hualo-burned drainage areas located upstream from human settlements, as well as erosion and sediment control techniques to avoid post-fire desertification processes.
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CitationGarcia-Chevesich, Pablo A.; Martínez, Eduardo; García, Alejandro; Castillo, Miguel; Garfias, Roberto; Neary, Daniel; Pizarro, Roberto; Valdes, Rodrigo; Gonzalez, Luis; Venegas-Quinones, Hector L.; Magni, Carlos. 2019. Formation of post-fire water repellent layers on Nothofagus glauca (Hualo) forests, after the historical “Las Maquinas” wildfire in south-central Chile. American Journal of Environmental Sciences. 15 (1): 1.6.
KeywordsMediterranean environments, erosion risk, forest firehidrofobicity, Pinus radiata
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