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Cristina Santín

Cristina Santín
Spanish National Research Council (Spain) & Swansea University (UK) · IMIB-CSIC & Biosciences-SU

PhD

About

90
Publications
41,436
Reads
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Citations
Introduction
My current research focuses on the effects of fire, both wildfires and prescribed burns, on carbon dynamics. I also study fire impacts on soils and waters, social perceptions of fire, and characterization of fuels and fire behaviour. I am mostly a field researcher, and have done fieldwork in many different ecosystems across the world such as Atlantic heathlands (UK and Spain), tropical savannah (South Africa), the boreal forest (Canada) or the dry sclerophyllous forest (Australia).
Additional affiliations
September 2020 - present
Swansea University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2020 - present
Spanish National Research Council
Position
  • Fellow
January 2017 - September 2020
Swansea University
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (90)
Article
Full-text available
The production of pyrogenic carbon (PyC; a continuum of organic carbon (C) ranging from partially charred biomass and charcoal to soot) is a widely acknowledged C sink, with the latest estimates indicating that ~50% of the PyC produced by vegetation fires potentially sequester C over centuries. Nevertheless, the quantitative importance of PyC in th...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfire has been an important process affecting the Earth's surface and atmosphere for over 350 million years and human societies have coexisted with fire since their emergence. Yet many consider wildfire as an accelerating problem, with widely held perceptions both in the media and scientific papers of increasing fire occurrence, severity and res...
Article
Full-text available
Soils are among the most valuable non-renewable resources on the Earth. They support natural vegetation and human agro-ecosystems, represent the largest terrestrial organic carbon stock, and act as stores and filters for water. Mankind has impacted on soils from its early days in many different ways, with burning being the first human perturbation...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfires release substantial quantities of carbon (C) into the atmosphere but they also convert part of the burnt biomass into pyrogenic organic matter (PyOM). This is richer in C and, overall, more resistant to environmental degradation than the original biomass, and, therefore, PyOM production is an efficient mechanism for C sequestration. The m...
Chapter
Due to its high persistence, biochar mineralization rates in soil most probably approach several centuries (Chapter 11). Physical processes, which may determine biochar loss at much shorter timescales, are those leading to its transport off site. Biochar and associated nutrients or micropollutants may be transported by water, wind or animals. Trans...
Article
Full-text available
Recent wildfire outbreaks around the world have prompted concern that climate change is increasing fire incidence, threatening human livelihood and biodiversity, and perpetuating climate change. Here, we review current understanding of the impacts of climate change on fire weather (weather conditions conducive to the ignition and spread of wildfire...
Article
Black carbon (BC) is produced by incomplete combustion of biomass by wildfires and burning of fossil fuels. BC is environmentally persistent over centuries to millennia, sequestering carbon in marine and terrestrial environments. However, its production, storage and dynamics, and therefore its role in the broader carbon cycling during global change...
Cover Page
Full-text available
Humans have raised CO₂ levels in the atmosphere to 50% above what they were before the industrial revolution. As a result, the world has already warmed by 1.1°C over the past century and reports indicate that it could reach 2.7°C of warming by the end of this century. Bouts of severe drought, heat and low humidity are becoming more extreme as the c...
Article
Full-text available
Key Points The impact of our journal is enhanced when a representative pool of contributors participates in the process of scientific publication Increasing reviewer and editor diversity is the best opportunity we have to remove bias from the peer review process Key priorities to expand and diversify our editorial, reviewing, and publishing communi...
Article
Full-text available
Fires are an important perturbation for the carbon (C) dynamics of boreal forests, especially when they are stand-replacing. In North American boreal forests, crown fires are predominant and, therefore, the most studied. However, surface fires can also lead to major tree mortality with substantial implications for the C balance. Here, we assess the...
Chapter
Fires affect many landscapes whether ignited by lightning or humans. They can affect soil physical, chemical and biological characteristics directly through heating and combustion, or indirectly through modified biological, pedological and hydrological processes after the fire. Direct effects include changes in organic matter, nutrients, biota, wat...
Article
Full-text available
Fire is a primary disturbance in the world’s forested ecosystems and its impacts are projected to increase in many regions due to global climate change. Fire impacts have been studied for decades, but integrative assessments of its effects on multiple ecosystem services (ES) across scales are rare. We conducted a global analysis of persistent (>1 y...
Article
Fire is an important disturbance in many wetlands, which are key carbon reservoirs at both regional and global scales. However, the effects of fire on wetland vegetation biomass and plant carbon dynamics are poorly understood. We carried out a burn experiment in a Calamagrostis angustifolia wetland in Sanjiang Plain (Northeast China), which is wide...
Preprint
Full-text available
Fire is one of the main disturbances in the world's forested ecosystems and its impacts are projected to increase in many regions due to global change. Fire impacts have been studied for decades, but integrative assessments of its effects on multiple ecosystem services (ES) across scales are rare. We thus conducted a global analysis of persistent (...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfires produce large amounts of pyrogenic carbon (PyC), including charcoal, known for its chemical recalcitrance and sorption affinity for organic molecules. Wildfire-derived PyC can be transported to fluvial networks. Here it may alter the dissolved organic matter (DOM) concentration and composition as well as microbial biofilm functioning. Eff...
Preprint
Full-text available
Wildfires produce large amounts of pyrogenic carbon (PyC), including charcoal, known for its chemical recalcitrance and sorption affinity for organic molecules. Wildfire-derived PyC can be transported to fluvial networks. Here it may alter dissolved organic matter (DOM) concentration and composition as well as microbial biofilm functioning. Employi...
Preprint
Wildfires produce large amounts of pyrogenic carbon (PyC), including charcoal, known for its chemical recalcitrance and sorption affinity for organic molecules. Wildfire-derived PyC can be transported to fluvial networks. Here it may alter dissolved organic matter (DOM) concentration and composition as well as microbial biofilm functioning. Employi...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report provide a detailed synthesis of available evidence on wildfire hazards and assessed the changing risk from present to future in a climate change context
Article
Savannah fires are the largest contributor to global carbon (C) emissions from vegetation fires as a result of their high frequency and the large area burnt each year. Fires not only emit CO2 during the combustion process, they can also lead to enhanced CO2 fluxes from affected soils and vegetation, especially during the initial post-fire recovery...
Article
Full-text available
The extreme 2018 hot drought that affected central and northern Europe led to the worst wildfire season in Sweden in over a century. The Ljusdal fire complex, the largest area burnt that year (8995 ha), offered the rare opportunity to quantify the combined impacts of wildfire and post‐fire management on Scandinavian boreal forests. We present chamb...
Article
Full-text available
Globally landscape fires produce about 256 Tg of pyrogenic carbon or charcoal each year. The role of charcoal as a source of environmentally persistent free radicals, which are precursors of potentially harmful reactive oxygen species, is poorly constrained. Here, we analyse 60 charcoal samples collected from 10 wildfires, that include crown as wel...
Article
Full-text available
The 2019/20 Australian bushfires (or wildfires) burned the largest forested area in Australia's recorded history, with major socio‐economic and environmental consequences. Among the largest fires was the 280,000 ha Green Wattle Creek Fire which burned large forested areas of the Warragamba catchment. This protected catchment provides critical ecosy...
Article
Full-text available
Pyrogenic carbon (PyC) is produced by the incomplete combustion of vegetation during wildfires and is a major and persistent pool of the global carbon (C) cycle. However, its redistribution in the landscape after fires remains largely unknown. Therefore, we conducted rainfall simulation experiments on 0.25 m2 plots with two distinct Swiss forest so...
Preprint
Wildfires produce large amounts of pyrogenic carbon (PyC), including particulate charcoal, known for its chemical recalcitrance and sorption affinity for organic molecules. Wildfire-derived PyC is highly mobile in the landscape and can be transported to fluvial networks where it may impact natural dissolved organic matter (DOM) and microbial biofil...
Article
Full-text available
2020 is the year of wildfire records. California experienced its three largest fires early in its fire season. The Pantanal, the largest wetland on the planet, burned over 20% of its surface. More than 18 million hectares of forest and bushland burned during the 2019–2020 fire season in Australia, killing 33 people, destroying nearly 2500 homes, an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Pyrogenic carbon (PyC) is produced by the incomplete combustion of vegetation during wildfires and is a major and persistent pool of the global carbon (C) cycle. However, its redistribution in the landscape after fires remains largely unknown. Therefore, we conducted rainfall simulation experiments on 0.25-m 2 plots with two distinct Swiss forest s...
Article
Full-text available
Vegetation fires play an important role in global and regional carbon cycles. Due to climate warming and land use shifts, fire patterns are changing and fire impacts increasing in many of the world's regions. Reducing uncertainties in carbon budgeting calculations from fires is therefore fundamental to advance our current understanding and forecast...
Article
Full-text available
Reactive nitrogen (Nr, defined as all nitrogen-containing compounds except for N2 and N2O) is one of the most important classes of compounds emitted from wildfire, as Nr impacts both atmospheric oxidation processes and particle formation chemistry. In addition, several Nr compounds can contribute to health impacts from wildfires. Understanding the...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
Black carbon (BC) is a recalcitrant form of organic carbon (OC) produced by landscape fires. BC is an important component of the global carbon cycle because, compared to unburned biogenic OC, it is selectively conserved in terrestrial and oceanic pools. Here we show that the dissolved BC (DBC) content of dissolved OC (DOC) is twice greater in major...
Chapter
Full-text available
Soil degradation affects more than 20% of agricultural land, forest land and grasslands throughout the world. This manual aims to contribute to the quality of training, and it is therefore initially aimed at trainers and students, although it may also be useful for land managers and environmentalists. The selected case studies illustrate real appli...
Article
Papers are invited for a new cross-journal special collection presenting advances in understanding the physical and biogeochemical processes associated with landscape fires and their impacts.
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. Total reactive nitrogen (N<sub>r</sub>, defined as all nitrogen-containing compounds except for N<sub>2</sub> and N<sub>2</sub>O) was measured by catalytic conversion to NO and detection by NO-O<sub>3</sub> chemiluminescence together with individual N<sub>r</sub> species during a series of laboratory fires of fuels characteristic of Weste...
Article
Full-text available
Accurate mapping of landscape features is key for natural resources management and planning. For this purpose, the use of high-resolution remote sensing data has become widespread and is increasingly freely available. However, mapping some target features, such as small forest patches, is still a challenge. Standard, easily replicable, and automati...
Article
Full-text available
Landscape fires burn 3–5 million km2 of the Earth’s surface annually. They emit 2.2 Pg of carbon per year to the atmosphere, but also convert a significant fraction of the burned vegetation biomass into pyrogenic carbon. Pyrogenic carbon can be stored in terrestrial and marine pools for centuries to millennia and therefore its production can be con...
Article
Full-text available
In 2014, we travelled to the northern boreal forests of Canada to set experimental fires that would help us understand the effect of wildfires on the global carbon cycle. Sadly, we never got the chance to set those fires, because the firefighters enlisted to help us were busy dealing with an area the size of Belgium that was already burning. That w...
Article
Full-text available
It is well established in the world’s fire-prone regions that wildfires can considerably change the hydrological dynamics of freshwater catchments. Limited research, however, has focused on the potential impacts of wildfire ash toxicity on aquatic biota. Here, we assess the chemical composition and toxicity of ash generated from wildfires in six co...
Article
Full-text available
Here, we explore how charcoal formation under different heating regimes and circumstances leads to chars of different physical properties. In order to do this, we have undertaken (1) carefully controlled laboratory experiments that replicate the different heating regimes that might be experienced during a wildfire and (2) two experimental wildfires...
Article
Full-text available
Pyrogenic carbon (PyC, charcoal) is produced during vegetation fires at a rate of ~116–385 Tg C yr−1 globally. It represents one of the most degradation-resistant organic carbon pools, but its long-term fate and the processes leading to its degradation remain subject of debate. A frequently highlighted potential loss mechanism of PyC is its consump...
Article
Full-text available
Public article in The Conversation discussing the future of fire in Mediterranean Europe in view of the recent article of Turco et al. 2018 in Nature Communications: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-06358-z
Presentation
Full-text available
Open biomass burning affects 3-4.6 million km 2 globally per year, an area comparable to that of India. While the majority of the vegetation carbon stocks affected by fire are emitted as CO 2 and CO, a nontrivial fraction is converted to pyrogenic carbon (PyC) in the form of charcoal. PyC contains highly recalcitrant organic carbon forms which pers...
Data
Executive summary of a critical review of published work and recommendations for decision makers on impacts of prescribed fire in the UK on three key aspects of ecosystem services: (i) water quality, (ii) carbon dynamics and (iii) habitat composition and structure (biodiversity). The full review (Harper et al., 2018) is part of a special issue on p...
Article
Full-text available
The impacts of vegetation fires on ecosystems are complex and varied affecting a range of important ecosystem services. Fire has the potential to affect the physicochemical and ecological status of water systems, alter several aspects of the carbon cycle (e.g. above- and below-ground carbon storage) and trigger changes in vegetation type and struct...
Article
This study examines the direct impact of a moderate/high-severity prescribed fire on phosphorous (P) stocks and partitioning in oligotrophic soils of a dry eucalypt forest within Sydney's water supply catchments, Australia. We also quantify and characterize the P present in the ash produced in this fire, and explore its relationships with the maxim...
Article
Full-text available
Pyrogenic carbon (PyC), produced naturally (wildfire charcoal) and anthropogenically (biochar), is extensively studied due to its importance in several disciplines, including global climate dynamics, agronomy and paleosciences. Charcoal and biochar are commonly used as analogues for each other to infer respective carbon sequestration potentials, pr...
Research
Full-text available
Press article in response to the 2016 wildfires in Siberia.
Article
Boreal soils account for ~ 30% of the global soil organic carbon (C) stock. Wildfires are an important perturbation of this C pool, particularly affecting the top organic soil layer, which constitutes the forest floor. Alterations to the forest floor by fire are relevant to the soil C balance and have profound implications for soil properties. Howe...
Article
Full-text available
Ash is generated in every wildfire, but its eco-hydro-geomorphic effects remain poorly understood and quantified, especially at large spatial scales. Here we present a new method that allows modelling the spatial distribution of ash loads in the post-fire landscape, based on a severe wildfire that burnt ∼13600ha of a forested water supply catchment...
Article
Full-text available
In response to our paper "Pyrogenic organic matter production from wildfires: a missing sink in the global carbon cycle" (Santín et al. 2015), Billings & Schlesinger (2015) argue that pyrogenic organic matter (PyOM) formation is not a missing C sink. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright...
Article
Fire transforms fuels (i.e. biomass, necromass, soil organic matter) into materials with different chemical and physical properties. One of these materials is ash, which is the particulate residue remaining or deposited on the ground that consists of mineral materials and charred organic components. The quantity and characteristics of ash produced...