Skip to Main Content
Effects of high- and low-intensity fires on soil properties and plant growth in a Bolivian dry forestAuthor(s): Deborah K. Kennard; H.L. Gholz
Source: Plant and Soil 234: 119-129, 2001
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (273 KB)
DescriptionWe compared soil nutrient availabiiity and soil physical properties among four treatments (high-intensity fire, low- intensity fire, plant removal, and harvesting gap) and a control (intact forest understory) over a period of 18 months in a tropical dry forest in Bolivia. The effect of treatments on plant growth was tested using a shade intolerant tree species (Anaderzanthera colubrina Vell. Cone.) as a bioassay. Surface soils in high-intensity fire treatments had significantly greater pH values, concentrations of extractable calcium (Ca), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and phosphorus (P), and amounts of resin-available P and nitrogen (N) than other treatments; however, a loss of soil organic matter during high-intensity fires likely resulted in increased bulk density and strength, and decreased water infiltration rates. Low intensity fires also significantly increased soil pH, concentrations of extractable Ca, K, Mg, and P, and amounts of resin-available P and N, although to a lesser degree than high-intensity fires. Low-intensity fires did not lower soil organic matter contents or alter soil physical properties. Plant removal and harvesting gap treatments had little effect on soil chemical and physical properties. Despite the potentially negative effects of degraded soil structure on plant growth, growth of A. colubrina seedlings were greater following high-intensity fires. Evidently, the increase in nutrient availability caused by high-intensity fires was not offset by degraded soil structure in its effects on seedling growth. Long-term effects of high intensity fires require further research.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
CitationKennard, Deborah K.; Gholz, H.L. 2001. Effects of high- and low-intensity fires on soil properties and plant growth in a Bolivian dry forest. Plant and Soil 234: 119-129, 2001
- Nutrient availability in rangeland soils: influence of prescribed burning, herbaceous vegetation removal, overseeding with Bromus tectorum, season, and elevation
- Soil dynamics and carbon stocks 10 years after restoration of degraded land using Atlantic Forest tree species
- Legacy effects of prescribed fire season and frequency on soil properties in a Pinus resinosa forest in northern Minnesota
XML: View XML