Presence of black carbon in soil due to forest fire in the New Jersey Pine Barrens

Foereid, Bente, Lehmann, Johannes, Wurster, Christopher, and Bird, Michael (2015) Presence of black carbon in soil due to forest fire in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Journal of Earth Science and Engineering, 5. pp. 91-97.

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Fire is an important ecological factor and what constitutes appropriate fire management is much debated in the US and elsewhere. The role of fire as a source of greenhouse gases has been intensively investigated, but less is known about the production rate of the solid black carbon residue from fires. Black carbon accumulates in soil as it has longer turnover times than plant residues. To understand the significance of black carbon production during wildfire, we quantified black carbon using hydropyrolysis in O and A horizons before and after a prescribed burn at four sites in the New Jersey Pine Barrens forest in the North-Eastern US. Black carbon was found in both O- and A-horizons at all investigated sites, stocks in the range of 61.31-168.15 g m-2 in the O-horizon and 169.59-425.25 g m-2 in the A-horizon. Total black carbon stocks did not increase following the fire suggesting that either black carbon production in fires may be small compared to the variability, or that equivalent amounts of black carbon formed in previous fires may have been consumed in the fire. The study raises questions about how black carbon production and consumption in fires can be quantified separately.

Item ID: 43937
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2159-581X
Keywords: black carbon, soil properties, prescribed fire, New Jersey Pine Barrens
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Funders: Joint Fire Service (JFS), NASA-USDA
Projects and Grants: JFS Grant #09-1-04-1, NASA Agreement No. 2008-35615-18961
Date Deposited: 10 May 2016 01:06
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960505 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Forest and Woodlands Environments @ 100%
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