Smouldering fire-induced changes in a Mediterranean soil (SE Spain): effects on germination, survival and morphological traits of 3-year-old Pinus pinaster Ait. uri icon

abstract

  • In the present study, a smouldering fire was reproduced in a substrate from a Pinus pinaster forest in the southeastern Iberian Peninsula. Experiments were carried out, in laboratory, using soil monoliths to assess the short-term fire-induced effects on germination, survival and morphological traits in young (3-year-old) specimens of Pinus pinaster Ait. The fire caused a severe reduction in the litter and humus layer relative to a control (unburnt) soil. A lower percentage of accumulated germination (29% in the burnt soil compared with 71% in the control soil) reduced final seedling density, and a lower seedling height was observed in burnt soil. Furthermore, the amount of biomass fixed per unit of leaf area and the concentration of foliar nutrients were lower in the seedlings grown in the burnt soil. However, the amount of biomass fixed per individual seedling was significantly higher in the burnt soil than in the control soil. The results confirm the observed lesser P. pinaster recruitment in burnt stands in southeastern Spain.

publication date

  • 2010
  • 2010