The knowledge of the effects of fire on soil properties is of particular concern in Mediterranean areas, where the effects of vegetation type are still scarce also. This research aimed: to assess the properties of burnt soils under different vegetation types; to highlight the soil abiotic properties driving the soil microbial biomass and activity under each vegetation type; to compare the biological response in unburnt and burnt soils under the same vegetation type, and between unburnt and burnt soils under different vegetation types. The soils were collected at a Mediterranean area where a large wildfire caused a 50% loss of the previous vegetation types (holm oak: HO, pine: P, black locust: BL, and herbs: H), and were characterized by abiotic (pH, water, and organic matter contents; N concentrations; and C/N ratios) and biotic (microbial and fungal biomasses, microbial respiration, soil metabolic quotient, and hydrolase and dehydrogenase activities) properties. The biological response was evaluated by the Integrative Biological Responses (IBR) index. Before the fire, organic matter and N contents were significantly higher in P than H soils. After the fire, significant increases of pH, organic matter, C/N ratio, microbial biomass and respiration, and hydrolase and dehydrogenase activities were observed in all the soils, especially under HO. In conclusion, the post-fire soil conditions were less favorable for microorganisms, as the IBR index decreased when compared to the pre-fire conditions.

Soil Biological Responses under Different Vegetation Types in Mediterranean Area

Santorufo, Lucia
Data Curation
;
De Marco, Anna
Penultimo
Formal Analysis
;
Maisto, Giulia
Ultimo
Supervision
2022

Abstract

The knowledge of the effects of fire on soil properties is of particular concern in Mediterranean areas, where the effects of vegetation type are still scarce also. This research aimed: to assess the properties of burnt soils under different vegetation types; to highlight the soil abiotic properties driving the soil microbial biomass and activity under each vegetation type; to compare the biological response in unburnt and burnt soils under the same vegetation type, and between unburnt and burnt soils under different vegetation types. The soils were collected at a Mediterranean area where a large wildfire caused a 50% loss of the previous vegetation types (holm oak: HO, pine: P, black locust: BL, and herbs: H), and were characterized by abiotic (pH, water, and organic matter contents; N concentrations; and C/N ratios) and biotic (microbial and fungal biomasses, microbial respiration, soil metabolic quotient, and hydrolase and dehydrogenase activities) properties. The biological response was evaluated by the Integrative Biological Responses (IBR) index. Before the fire, organic matter and N contents were significantly higher in P than H soils. After the fire, significant increases of pH, organic matter, C/N ratio, microbial biomass and respiration, and hydrolase and dehydrogenase activities were observed in all the soils, especially under HO. In conclusion, the post-fire soil conditions were less favorable for microorganisms, as the IBR index decreased when compared to the pre-fire conditions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/892456
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