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Effects of fire on nitrogen in forest floor horizons

Author(s): G. D. Mroz, Martin F. Jurgensen, Alan E. Harvey, Michael J. Larsen
Year Published: 1980

The effects of burning no nitrogen (N) losses and transformations in red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.), eastern hemlock [Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr.], and Douglas-fir (Pseulotsuga menziesii)/western larch (Larix occidentalis Nutt.) forest floor were investigated. Organic horizon samples were burned at 400°C for 30 min in a top-heating oven to simulate field conditions. Measurements taken immediately after burning showed total and available N losses from the O1 horizons but gains in total and available N in underlying layers. After burning, the litter was incubated for 5 weeks and analyzed for ammonium and nitrate concentrations and changes in acidity. Each forest floor type displayed varying patterns of ammonification, nitrification and immobilization of N. The N changes appeared related to the differing initial N contents of the organic material.

Citation: Mroz, G.D.; Jurgensen, M.F.; Harvey, A.E.; Larsen, M.J. 1980. Effects of fire on nitrogen in forest floor horizons. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 44(2): 395-400.
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Ecological - First Order, Soil Heating, Ecological - Second Order, Soils
Ecosystem(s): Montane dry mixed-conifer forest
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 13142
FRAMES RCS number: 18475
Record updated: Nov 16, 2017