The Impacts of Post-Fire Straw Mulching and Salvage Logging on Soil Properties and Plant Diversity in a Mediterranean Burned Pine Forest
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Author/sOrtega Pérez, Raúl; Zema, Demetrio Antonio; Valiente, Nicolas; Soria Martínez, Rocío; Miralles Mellado, Isabel; [et al.]
In the Mediterranean forests, wildfires and post-fire management actions may degrade soil properties and negatively impact vegetation characteristics. These effects may reduce soil functionality and result in loss of plant diversity. Although straw mulching and salvage logging are commonly carried out in burned forests, their impacts on respiration of forest soils as well as on species richness and evenness of forest plants have been little explored. To fill these gaps, this study has evaluated the soil respiration, different soil physico-chemical properties, as well as plant diversity in a forest of Castilla La Mancha (Central Eastern Spain), burned by a wildfire and then subjected alternatively to salvage logging or straw mulching or to both techniques. Compared to the unburned soils, immediately after the fire mulching and salvage logging alone increased (+146%) and reduced the soil respiration (−9%), respectively, the latter especially in combination with mulching. However, these d...