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Effects of Wildfire on soils and watershed processes

Author(s): George G. Ice, Daniel G. Neary, Paul W. Adams
Year Published: 2004

Wildfire can cause water repellency and consume plant canopy, surface plants and litter, and structure-enhancing organics within soil. Changes in soil moisture, structure, and infiltration can accelerate surface runoff, erosion, sediment transport, and deposition. Intense rainfall and some soil and terrain conditions can contribute to overland runoff and in-channel debris torrents. Mineralization of organic matter, interruption of root uptake, and loss of shade can further impact water quality by increasing stream temperatures and nutrient concentrations. Where wildfires are unnaturally large and severe, watershed effects are likely to be negatively skewed.

Citation: Ice GG, Neary, DG, Adams, PW. 2004. Effects of wildfire on soils and watershed processes. Journal of Forestry 102(6):16-20.
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Soils, Water
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 15751
FRAMES RCS number: 4362
TTRS (Tall Timbers Research Station) Number: 17639
Record updated: Nov 17, 2017