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Greenhouse gas emissions after a prescribed fire in white birch-dwarf bamboo stands in northern Japan, focusing on the role of charcoal
- Kim, Yong Suk, Makoto, Kobayashi, Takakai, Fumiaki, Shibata, Hideaki, Satomura, Takami, Takagi, Kentaro, Hatano, Ryusuke, Koike, Takayoshi
- European journal of forest research 2011 v.130 no.6 pp. 1031-1044
- Betula, ammonium nitrogen, bamboos, carbon, carbon dioxide, charcoal, forest ecosystems, forest fires, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, growing season, methane, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, prescribed burning, soil temperature, temperate forests, Japan
- Forest fires affect both carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling in forest ecosystems, and thereby influence the soil–atmosphere exchange of major greenhouse gases (GHGs): carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). To determine changes in the soil GHG fluxes following a forest fire, we arranged a low-intensity surface fire in a white birch forest in northern Japan. We established three treatments, having four replications each: a control plot (CON), a burned plot (BURN), and a plot burned with removal of the resulting charcoal (BURN-CHA). Soil GHG fluxes and various properties of the soil were determined on four or five occasions during a period that spanned two growing seasons. We observed increased concentrations of ammonium-N (NH4-N) in BURN and BURN-CHA after the fire, while nitrate–N (NO3-N) concentration was only increased in BURN-CHA after the fire. The soil CO2 flux was significantly higher in CON than in BURN or BURN-CHA, but there was no difference in soil CH4 uptake between the three treatments. Moreover, the N2O flux from BURN-CHA soil was slightly greater than in CON or BURN. In BURN-CHA, the soil N2O flux peaked in August, but there was no peak in BURN. We found temporal correlations between soil GHG fluxes and soil variables, e.g. soil temperature or NO3-N. Our results suggest that environmental changes following fire, including the increased availability of N and the disappearance of the litter layer, have the potential to change soil GHG fluxes. Fire-produced charcoal could be significant in reducing soil N2O flux in temperate forests.