Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-2016
09 Jul 2024
 | 09 Jul 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Impacts of fire severity and salvage-logging on soil carbon fluxes in a boreal forest

Julia Kelly, Stefan H. Doerr, Johan Ekroos, Theresa S. Ibáñez, Md. Rafikul Islam, Cristina Santín, Margarida Soares, and Natascha Kljun

Abstract. The long-term carbon storage capacity of the boreal forest is under threat from the increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires. In addition to the direct carbon emissions from combustion during a fire, the burnt forest often turns into a net carbon emitter after fire, leading to large additional losses of carbon over several years. Understanding how quickly forests recover after a fire is therefore vital to predicting the effects of fire on the forest carbon balance. We present soil respiration and CH4 fluxes, soil chemistry, site microclimate and vegetation survey data from the first four years after a wildfire in a Pinus sylvestris forest in Sweden. This is an understudied part of the boreal biome where forest management decisions interact with disturbances to affect forest growth. We analysed how fire severity and post-fire salvage-logging affected the soil carbon fluxes. The fire did not affect soil CH4 uptake. However, soil CO2 emissions were significantly affected by the presence or absence of living trees after the fire and post-fire forest management. Tree mortality due to the high-severity fire, or the salvage-logging of living trees after low-severity fire, led to immediate and significant decreases in soil respiration. Salvage-logging of dead trees after high-severity fire did not alter soil respiration compared to when the trees were left standing. However, it did significantly slow the regrowth of vegetation. Sites where trees had been left standing after the fire also had double the density of Pinus sylvestris seedlings from natural regeneration compared to sites where the trees had been salvage-logged. Our results highlight that the impact of salvage-logging on the soil carbon fluxes depends on the fire severity but that logging always slows the natural recovery of vegetation post-fire.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Julia Kelly, Stefan H. Doerr, Johan Ekroos, Theresa S. Ibáñez, Md. Rafikul Islam, Cristina Santín, Margarida Soares, and Natascha Kljun

Status: open (until 27 Aug 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
Julia Kelly, Stefan H. Doerr, Johan Ekroos, Theresa S. Ibáñez, Md. Rafikul Islam, Cristina Santín, Margarida Soares, and Natascha Kljun
Julia Kelly, Stefan H. Doerr, Johan Ekroos, Theresa S. Ibáñez, Md. Rafikul Islam, Cristina Santín, Margarida Soares, and Natascha Kljun

Viewed

Total article views: 126 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
88 28 10 126 19 6 6
  • HTML: 88
  • PDF: 28
  • XML: 10
  • Total: 126
  • Supplement: 19
  • BibTeX: 6
  • EndNote: 6
Views and downloads (calculated since 09 Jul 2024)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 09 Jul 2024)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 119 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 119 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Latest update: 24 Jul 2024
Download
Short summary
We measured soil carbon fluxes during the first four years after a wildfire in the Swedish boreal forest. Soil CO2 emissions decreased substantially only when trees were killed by fire or by post-fire logging, but not when trees survived the fire and were left standing. Soil methane flux was not affected by fire. Logging trees already killed by fire had no additional impact on soil carbon fluxes. Post-fire forest management strategy impacted vegetation regrowth and carbon dynamics.