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Plot- to catchment-scale impacts of prescribed fire on soil erosion R.A. Shakesby 1 , C.S.S. Ferreira 2 , R.P.D. Walsh 1 , A.J.D. Ferreira 2 , C.R. Stoof 3 and E. Urbanek 1 1 Swansea University, UK, 2 Escola Superior Agr ária de Coimbra, Portugal, 3 Wageningen University, The Netherlands “ A global initiative to combat desertification ”
Study sites Location of study sites in Portugal
Flame temperatures up to > 800°C, but relatively little soil heating ( soil temperatures < 1 00°C)
Fire characteristics Measuring flame temperatures Fire started at the catchment boundary Temperature-sensitive paints Paint strips on metal bars
Post-fire vegetation recovery Near to the watershed Lower impact on vegetation and litter Near the main drainage line Higher impact on vegetation and litter 1 month after fire 1 month after fire 4 months after fire 4 months after fire
0.001 0.01 0.1 1.0 10.0 Unburned Low-mod. fire severity High fire severity Erosion rate (t/ha/yr) Mediterranean data modified from Pausas et al., International Journal of Wildland Fire (2008) Estimated and measured annual post-fire erosion rates: study sites vs Mediterranean-wide values 0.0001 V Torto (bounded plot) V Torto (sub-catchment weir pool) V Torto – post-fire? Camelo - wildfire Espinho (control catchment)