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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 30, pp 30325–30338 | Cite as

Effects of forest fire on the properties of soil and humic substances extracted from forest soil in Gunma, Japan

  • Kazuto Sazawa
  • Hironori Yoshida
  • Katsuya Okusu
  • Noriko Hata
  • Hideki Kuramitz
Research Article
  • 63 Downloads

Abstract

Increases in global wildfires and fire severity are expected to result from global warming. Severe wildfires not only burn surface vegetation but also affect forest soil. Humic substances play key roles in the transport of nutrients and the carbon cycle in terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we evaluated the effects of forest fires on the chemical properties of fulvic acid (FA) and humic acid (HA) extracted from non-burned and burned forest soils in Gunma, Japan. The differential thermal analysis of FA indicated that the intensity of exothermic reaction peak at 400 °C was 2-fold higher than that from non-burned soil. Based on pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis with tetramethyl ammonium hydroxide, the amount of pyrolysate compounds in FA from burnt soil was significantly lower than that in FA from non-burnt soil. Therefore, we can conclude that the forest fire caused the significant change in the properties of FA such as increasing the aromaticity and refractory. In addition, the concentration of dissolved organic carbon with low molecular weight in surface soil increased after forest fire. This study suggests that the denaturation of soil organic matter by wildfire can affect the carbon cycle in terrestrial ecosystems.

Keywords

Wildfires Soil organic matter Humic acid Fulvic acid TMAH-pyrolysis-GC/MS Three-dimensional excitation-emission matrix 

Notes

Funding information

This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B): Project Number 26740042 and the Heiwa Nakajima Foundation.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Far Eastern StudiesUniversity of ToyamaToyamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Biology and Chemistry, Graduate School of Science and Engineering for ResearchUniversity of ToyamaToyamaJapan

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