The effect of past fire activity on soil erosional processes in two subalpine sediment records from Rodna Mountains, Northern Romanian Carpathians

Aritina HALIUC, Simon HUTCHINSON, Gabriela FLORESCU, Angelica FEURDEAN

Abstract


Fire is an important disturbance factor across a variety of vegetation zones and one of the major causes of geomorphological and ecological changes (Shakesby&Doerr, 2006). In the context of current and anticipated climate change, fire severity and frequency is expected to increase. The impact of fire in shaping the physical, chemical, biological characteristics of a soil surface is mediated by the interaction between climate factors, vegetation attributes and human activities. Depending on the size, duration and temperature reached, fire usually consumes the litter and vegetation cover. It consequently changes soil stability by enhancing rain-splash detachment, modifying infiltration and promoting soil erosion. Nonetheless, the long-term geomorphological effects of fire activity revealed by lake sediment records have been sparsely investigated in terms of both geographical coverage and range of environmental characteristics. Therefore, a better understanding of fire activity in a future warmer climate will be crucial in assessing and predicting landscape dynamics, feedback mechanisms and sensitivity to soil erosion with different fire behaviour. 


Keywords


fire and vegetation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4316/GEOREVIEW.2014.0.0.219