PrestonSimardBergeronEtAl2017

Reference

Preston, C.M., Simard, M., Bergeron, Y., Bernard, G.M., Wasylishen, R.E. (2017) Charcoal in Organic Horizon and Surface Mineral Soil in a Boreal Forest Fire Chronosequence of Western Quebec: Stocks, Depth Distribution, Chemical Properties and a Synthesis of Related Studies. Frontiers in Earth Science, 5:98. (URL )

Abstract

Wildfires are a major driver of carbon stocks and ecosystem development in Canadian boreal forests, but there is little information on amounts and properties of the charcoal produced. Using data and samples available from a previous study, we determined amounts, depth distribution and chemical properties of visually-determined charcoal (> 2 mm) in a boreal chronosequence in the Abitibi region of Quebec, Canada. Sites ranged from 24 to 2355 years since fire (ysf) and originated from low- and high-severity soil burns (> 5 cm or < 5 cm organic horizon unburned, respectively). Two or three pits were sampled at 1-cm depth intervals from 20 jack pine (Pinus banksiana) sites (one low severity and 19 high severity) and 31 black spruce (Picea mariana) sites (12 low severity and 19 high severity). Site-level charcoal stocks ranged from 50 to 5527 kg ha-1 with high within-site variability and lower stocks for the oldest sites. Depth distributions typically peaked around the organic-mineral interface, but some low-severity sites also had charcoal layers within the organic horizon. Means from 30 samples were 569 mg g-1 total C, 4.1 mg g-1 total N and 140 C/N (molar), with total C and C/N showing a trend of decline with time since fire, and total N showing an increase. Solid-state 13C CPMAS NMR spectra of nine samples showed high variability among the younger samples, but a trend to higher aromaticity for the older ones. A literature survey focusing on boreal forests similarly showed highly variable stocks and chemical properties of charcoal in organic horizon and upper mineral soil, with reduction of variance and lower stocks after several hundred years. This initial variation was also consistent with reports of highly variable temperatures and duration of charring in wildfires. Adding reports available for char production, and considering that most studies of char stocks and production are limited to the organic horizon (forest floor), suggests that initial production of charred material from boreal wildfires might be around 5-10 tonnes ha-1.

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@ARTICLE { PrestonSimardBergeronEtAl2017,
    TITLE = { Charcoal in Organic Horizon and Surface Mineral Soil in a Boreal Forest Fire Chronosequence of Western Quebec: Stocks, Depth Distribution, Chemical Properties and a Synthesis of Related Studies },
    AUTHOR = { Preston, C.M. and Simard, M. and Bergeron, Y. and Bernard, G.M. and Wasylishen, R.E. },
    JOURNAL = { Frontiers in Earth Science },
    YEAR = { 2017 },
    PAGES = { 98 },
    VOLUME = { 5 },
    ABSTRACT = { Wildfires are a major driver of carbon stocks and ecosystem development in Canadian boreal forests, but there is little information on amounts and properties of the charcoal produced. Using data and samples available from a previous study, we determined amounts, depth distribution and chemical properties of visually-determined charcoal (> 2 mm) in a boreal chronosequence in the Abitibi region of Quebec, Canada. Sites ranged from 24 to 2355 years since fire (ysf) and originated from low- and high-severity soil burns (> 5 cm or < 5 cm organic horizon unburned, respectively). Two or three pits were sampled at 1-cm depth intervals from 20 jack pine (Pinus banksiana) sites (one low severity and 19 high severity) and 31 black spruce (Picea mariana) sites (12 low severity and 19 high severity). Site-level charcoal stocks ranged from 50 to 5527 kg ha-1 with high within-site variability and lower stocks for the oldest sites. Depth distributions typically peaked around the organic-mineral interface, but some low-severity sites also had charcoal layers within the organic horizon. Means from 30 samples were 569 mg g-1 total C, 4.1 mg g-1 total N and 140 C/N (molar), with total C and C/N showing a trend of decline with time since fire, and total N showing an increase. Solid-state 13C CPMAS NMR spectra of nine samples showed high variability among the younger samples, but a trend to higher aromaticity for the older ones. A literature survey focusing on boreal forests similarly showed highly variable stocks and chemical properties of charcoal in organic horizon and upper mineral soil, with reduction of variance and lower stocks after several hundred years. This initial variation was also consistent with reports of highly variable temperatures and duration of charring in wildfires. Adding reports available for char production, and considering that most studies of char stocks and production are limited to the organic horizon (forest floor), suggests that initial production of charred material from boreal wildfires might be around 5-10 tonnes ha-1. },
    DOI = { 10.3389/feart.2017.00098 },
    ISSN = { 2296-6463 },
    OWNER = { DanielLesieur },
    TIMESTAMP = { 2017.12.04 },
    URL = { https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/feart.2017.00098 },
}

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