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Nutrient Gains to Adjacent Ecosystems During a Forest Fire: an Evaluation

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Concentration of Na, K, Ca, Mg, and N in precipitation falling through smoke during a forest fire was 20 to 70 times greater than in normal precipitation. Climatic conditions during the Pine Creek fire in central Idaho were optimal for collecting nutrients by wet depositional processes. Hypothetically calculated nutrient inputs by dry deposition and wet deposition summed together provided 1 to 4 percent of the annual nutrient gain to standing timber in an adjacent watershed. In spite of the naturally high return frequency of wildfires in the mountains of central Idaho, it is unlikely that nutrient redistribution by smoke is of ecological significance away from the burned site. Forest Sci. 22:162-166.

Keywords: Chemistry (atmospheric); forest nutrition; nutrient cycling

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Soil Scientist, USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, Utah 84401

Publication date: 1976-06-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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