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Charcoal production in a UK moorland wildfire – How important is it?

Author:
Clay, Gareth D., Worrall, Fred
Source:
Journal of environmental management 2011 v.92 no.3 pp. 676-682
ISSN:
0301-4797
Subject:
aboveground biomass, carbon, carbon sinks, charcoal, heathlands, wildfires, United Kingdom
Abstract:
Wildfires are a common feature of peatland environments, but the carbon balance of these wildfires is often not considered and the production of refractory black carbon in these wildfires could be an important addition to carbon accumulation and mitigate losses of biomass during the fire. This study investigates the biomass and carbon losses during a moorland wildfire. Changes in above-ground carbon stocks were calculated using a combination of field data, laboratory measurements and literature values. The results show that approximately 14% of the carbon in the original above-ground biomass remained on the site after the burn. Black carbon production was approximately 6gCm⁻² which constituted 4.3% of the biomass lost. The survival of biomass and black carbon may help to mitigate the loss of carbon during the fire.
Agid:
489088