Solution chemistry profiles of mixed-conifer forests before and after fire

Jon Chorover, Peter M. Vitousek, Daniel A. Everson, Anne M. Esperanza, Douglas Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Solution chemistry profiles of mixed-conifer forests in granitic catchments of the Sierra Nevada were measured for three years before (1987-1990) and three years after (1990-1993) prescribed fire. Wet deposition, throughfall and soil solution samplers were installed in both white-fir and giant-sequoia dominated forest stands underlain by poorly developed inceptisols. Stream water chemistry was monitored as part of an ongoing study of catchment outputs. Calcium, NO3- and Cl- were the major ions in precipitation. Canopy leaching increased mean concentrations of all major ions, especially K+ and Ca2+. Water flux through the soil occurred largely during spring snowmelt. Forest floor leachate represented the most concentrated solutions of major ions. Interaction with the mineral soil decreased mean concentrations of most species and the average composition of soil solutions closely resembled stream water at baseflow. Bicarbonate alkalinity, Ca2+, Mg2+, and Na+ were enriched in stream water relative to precipitation whereas inputs of H+, NH4+, NO3- and SO42- were retained within the catchments. Burning of the forest understory and litter layer increased solute concentrations in soil solution and stream water. Mean soil solution Ca2+, Mg2+ and K+ concentrations increased more than 10 fold, but the relative predominance of these cations was not affected by burning. Sulfate concentration, which was very low in soil solutions of undisturbed stands (<25 mmolc m-3), increased more than 100 times following fire. Ammonium concentration exhibited a rapid, short-term increase and then a decrease below pre-burn levels. Changes in soil solution chemistry were reflected in catchment outputs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-144
Number of pages30
JournalBiogeochemistry
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

coniferous tree
Fires
Soils
Catchments
soil
Water
catchment
Ions
ion
Inceptisol
water
throughfall
wet deposition
baseflow
Alkalinity
Bicarbonates
forest floor
snowmelt
Ammonium Compounds
bicarbonate

Keywords

  • element fluxes
  • prescribed burning
  • soil solution chemistry
  • throughfall
  • water chemistry profiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Chorover, J., Vitousek, P. M., Everson, D. A., Esperanza, A. M., & Turner, D. (1994). Solution chemistry profiles of mixed-conifer forests before and after fire. Biogeochemistry, 26(2), 115-144. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02182882

Solution chemistry profiles of mixed-conifer forests before and after fire. / Chorover, Jon; Vitousek, Peter M.; Everson, Daniel A.; Esperanza, Anne M.; Turner, Douglas.

In: Biogeochemistry, Vol. 26, No. 2, 06.1994, p. 115-144.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chorover, J, Vitousek, PM, Everson, DA, Esperanza, AM & Turner, D 1994, 'Solution chemistry profiles of mixed-conifer forests before and after fire', Biogeochemistry, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 115-144. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02182882
Chorover, Jon ; Vitousek, Peter M. ; Everson, Daniel A. ; Esperanza, Anne M. ; Turner, Douglas. / Solution chemistry profiles of mixed-conifer forests before and after fire. In: Biogeochemistry. 1994 ; Vol. 26, No. 2. pp. 115-144.
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