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Effects of recovery time after fire and fire severity on stand structure and soil of larch forest in the Kanas National Nature Reserve, Northwest China

LIU Xiaoju ; PAN Cunde
Subjects: Environmental Sciences, Resource Sciences >> Basic Disciplines of Environmental Science and Technology

Forest recovery may be influenced by several factors, of which fire is the most critical. However, moderate- and long-term effects of fire on forest recovery are less researched in Northwest China. Thus, the effects of different forest recovery time after fire (1917 (served as the control), 1974, 1983 and 1995) and fire severities (low, moderate and high) on larch (Larix sibirica Ledeb.) forest were investigated in the Kanas National Nature Reserve (KNNR), Northwest China in 2017. This paper analyzed post-fire changes in stand density, total basal area (TBA), litter mass, soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil nutrients (total nitrogen, total phosphorus and total potassium) with one-way analyses of variance. Results indicate that litter mass, TBA, SOC and soil nutrients increased with increasing recovery time after fire and decreasing fire severity, while the stand density showed an opposite response. The effects of fire disturbance on SOC and soil nutrients decreased with increasing soil depth. Moreover, we found that the time of more than 43 a is needed to recover the litter mass, TBA, SOC and soil nutrients to the pre-fire level. In conclusion, high-severity fire caused the greatest variations in stand structure and soil of larch forest, and low-severity fire was more advantageous for post-fire forest stand structure and soil recovery in the KNNR. Therefore, low-severity fire can be an efficient management mean through reducing the accumulation of forest floor fuel of post-fire forests in the KNNR, Northwest China.

submitted time 2019-12-06 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits2620Downloads418 Comment 0

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