N saturation symptoms in chaparral catchments are not reversed by prescribed fire

Thomas Meixner, M. E. Fenn, P. Wohlgemuth, M. Oxford, P. Riggan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fire is a critical ecosystem process in many landscapes and is particularly dominant in the chaparral shrublands of southern California which are also exposed to high levels of atmospheric N deposition. Few studies have addressed the combined effects of these two disturbance factors. In this study we evaluate the hydrologie and biogeochemical response of a control and a prescribed burn catchment over a 15-year period. Streamwater nitrate concentrations and export in the burned catchment were higher than those in the unburned catchment for 7-10 years after the burn and concentrations remained high in both catchments during the entire study. Therefore, fire is not an effective mitigation tool for N deposition in these semi-arid systems. Additionally, the extended N export in this system indicates that chaparral ecosystems do not recover their N retention capabilities as rapidly as humid systems do when subjected to disturbance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2887-2894
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume40
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2006

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chaparral
Catchments
Fires
saturation
catchment
Ecosystems
disturbance
streamwater
ecosystem
shrubland
Nitrates
mitigation
nitrate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

N saturation symptoms in chaparral catchments are not reversed by prescribed fire. / Meixner, Thomas; Fenn, M. E.; Wohlgemuth, P.; Oxford, M.; Riggan, P.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 40, No. 9, 01.05.2006, p. 2887-2894.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Meixner, Thomas ; Fenn, M. E. ; Wohlgemuth, P. ; Oxford, M. ; Riggan, P. / N saturation symptoms in chaparral catchments are not reversed by prescribed fire. In: Environmental Science and Technology. 2006 ; Vol. 40, No. 9. pp. 2887-2894.
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