Ecological - Second Order
During 2-5 December 2010, an area of 2500 ha in the Carmel forests was consumed by a severe wildfire, causing soil erosion from the exposed slopes. Whereas most studies show that post-fire erosion rates tend to decline after the second year, in this case, we aim to address the ongoing consequences that different management practices had on soil erosion 3 and 4 years after a fire. Three management operations were applied: (a) preservation management (PM) - mulching wood chips on the burned area; (b) tree-clearing management (TCM) - burned trees were cut and removed; and (c) skid-trail formation (ST) - provisional pathways were formed while trees were dragged outside. Consequently, the objectives of the study were: (1) to monitor the effects of these post-fire practices 3 and 4 years after fire; and (2) to characterise the physical features of the eroded soil. The sediments were collected after every effective rain event over two rainy seasons (2013-14, 2014-15). TCM and ST practices resulted in significantly elevated soil-erosion yields compared to PM. The sediments following PM had a high percentage of fine material. Furthermore, PM had an evident positive effect on the soil, whereas all other practices inhibited vegetation renewal and system rehabilitation.