Soil microbial biomass, abundance, and diversity in a Japanese red pine forest: First year after fire

Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, Hirosima, Hiroshima, Japan
Journal of Forest Research (Impact Factor: 0.78). 06/2006; 11(3):165-173. DOI: 10.1007/s10310-005-0201-8


This study was conducted to determine the microbial biomass carbon and abundance and diversity of soil microorganisms immediately
after the occurrence of fire in a Japanese red pine forest, and to determine the pattern of microbial recovery within the
first year after fire. The effects of fire at three slope positions were also determined. Three plots in each of the burnt
and unburnt areas, measuring 10 × 10 m, were established. The first plot was located at the valley bottom, the second plot
was located at the middle slope, and the third plot was located at the ridge. Analysis showed that for all parameters studied,
the three plots in the unburnt area did not differ significantly and so they were treated as one control plot. The microbial
biomass, abundance, and diversity structure in the unburnt and burnt plots showed significant differences. The unburnt area
had the highest biomass carbon, abundance, and diversity, followed by the valley bottom, the middle slope, and then the ridge
in the burnt area, and significant differences in the burnt plots were found between the valley bottom, the middle slope,
and the ridge. The microbial diversity in the burnt area differed from that of the unburnt area, the microbial diversity being
significantly lower in the burnt area, and the ridge was shown to have been the most affected by fire.

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Available from: Nobukazu Nakagoshi, May 14, 2015
    • "Our results also indicated that the wildfire resulted in an increase in pH in the organic layer of the burned soil, and that this increase in pH persisted 25 months post-fire. Other studies have also shown increases in pH as a result of fire in a pitch pine/ chestnut oak prescribed burn in North Carolina, USA (Knoepp et al., 2004), a red pine wildfire in Hiroshima City, Japan (Mabuhay et al., 2006), and a mixed conifer wildfire in Nevada, USA (Murphy et al., 2006b). Previous studies have shown pH to be a significant driver of soil microbial community composition, with low pH selecting for fungi as well as specific groups of bacteria, such as Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacteriodetes (Fierer and Jackson, 2006; Lauber et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: The frequency and intensity of wildfires are expected to increase in the coming years due to the changing climate, particularly in areas of high net primary production. Wildfires represent severe perturbations to terrestrial ecosystems and may have lasting effects. The objective of this study was to characterize the impacts of wildfire on an ecologically and economically important ecosystem by linking soil properties to shifts in microbial community structure in organic horizon soils. The study was conducted after a severe wildfire burned over 7000 ha of the New Jersey Pinelands, a low nutrient system with a historical incidence of fires. Soil properties in burned and non-burned soils were measured periodically up to two years after the fire occurred, in conjunction with molecular analysis of the soil bacterial, fungal and archaeal communities to determine the extent and duration of the ecosystem responses. The results of our study indicate that the wildfire resulted in significant changes in the soil physical and chemical characteristics in the organic horizon, including declines in soil organic matter, moisture content and total Kjeldahl nitrogen. These changes persisted for up to 25 months post-fire and were linked to shifts in the composition of soil bacterial, fungal and archaeal communities in the organic horizon. Of particular interest is the fact that the bacterial, fungal and archaeal communities in the severely burned soils all changed most dramatically during the first year after fire, changed more slowly during the second year after the fire, and were still distinct from communities in the non-burned soils 25 months post-fire. This slow recovery in soil physical, chemical and biological properties could have long term consequences for the soil ecosystem. These results highlight the importance of relating the response of the soil microbial communities to changing soil properties after a naturally occurring wildfire.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Soil Biology and Biochemistry
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    • "For example, microclimatic conditions (soil moisture, soil temperature) can differ depending on the amount of woody debris scattered on the ground (Castro et al., 2011; Smaill et al., 2008; Stoddard et al., 2008). Burnt wood also has a high nutrient content (Johnson et al., 2005; Kappes et al., 2007; Merino et al., 2003), which might improve soil fertility by providing nutrients and organic substrates (Coleman et al., 2004; Grove, 2003; Harmon et al., 1986), thus favouring microbial abundance and soil respiration rates (Hamman et al., 2008; Mabuhay et al., 2006; Trumbore et al., 1996). As a consequence of the above processes, vegetation cover and development may differ with burnt-wood management (Stark et al., 2006), which will also affect soil respiration (Burton et al., 2000; Nadelhoffer, 2000; Tang et al., 2005). "

    Full-text · Dataset · Jan 2013
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    • "The overall effects of fire are complex, ranging from the removal of aboveground biomass to affecting the physical, chemical and biological components of soil ecosystems. Fire produces a broad spectrum of effects that depend on duration, fuel load and combustion, vegetation type, climate, topography, soil and area burnt (Mabuhay et al. 2006). Forest fire could influence the soil microarthropods assemblages; direct killing by the blaze and indirect impacts by altering their habitats by changing the composition of forest vegetation or by disturbing the balance of soil chemicals, water levels and pH. "
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    ABSTRACT: • Context In July 2005, a wildfire occurred in windthrown spruce forests in High Tatra Mountains and damaged roughly 229 ha of previously clear-cut area. • Aims The present study focuses on assessing the influence of fire disturbance upon collembolan communities and compares the subsequent development of the model communities at burnt and unburnt stands 2 years after fire disturbance. • Methods Three different treatments were selected for the study: REF stands—intact forest stands; EXT stands—clear-cut windthrown stands; and FIR stands—clear-cut windthrown stands subsequently damaged by wildfire. The study of soil microarthropods was carried out in three stands of each treatment, from soil samples taken in April and September of 2007. For statistical evaluation of results repeated measure analysis of variance and cluster analysis with indicator values were used. • Results Total material comprised of 3,632 specimens with 56 collembolan species identified. The highest Collembola abundance means were recorded in FIR stands, with the same parameter being significantly lower in REF and EXT stands. The mathematical methods demonstrated clear differences in the collembolan communities between the different treatments studied. • Conclusion The present study showed that natural wildfire may increase abundance and species richness of soil Collembola in mountain spruce forests previously damaged by windthrow.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Annals of Forest Science
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