Effects of season and interval of Rx burns on carbon in ponderosa pine in southern Blue Mtns

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We did not detect a difference in mean pyrogenic carbon (PyC) concentration of the mineral soil between the spring burns and the unburned controls; however, the spring burn plots did contain a number of isolated pockets with very high concentrations of PyC, suggesting a patchier burn pattern for these plots. In general, there was no detectable difference in any of the response variables when comparing the various prescribed burn treatments to one another. Reestablishing fire in these forests resulted in minor effects on the PyC concentration and pH, which may have beneficial impacts on soil carbon and available nutrients, while having few effects on other soil characteristics. This suggests that the application of low severity prescribed fires should result in little detrimental change to soils of ponderosa pine forests of the Southern Blue Mountains, while achieving management objectives such as reduction of surface fuels.

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