Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
Prescribed fires, including slash pile burning, are both criticized and praised as a fire management technique. When slash piles are used for fire and ecosystem management, concerns arise over the prolonged, severe burning on soil fertility and water quality. This study examines soil nutrient concentration responses to burning including ammonium, nitrate, total nitrogen, total carbon, magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorous, sulfur, iron, boron, manganese, zinc and copper. The study also examines water quality and nutrient levels in runoff, snowmelt and soil solution over the winter season. These were monitored using tube lysimeters, runoff collectors, resin lysimeters, resin stakes, snowmelt collectors, as well as ash and soil samples. Initial results have shown statistically significant differences between pile and non-pile locations with most nutrients being highest in the pile area.