Plant and Soil

, Volume 370, Issue 1–2, pp 367–380 | Cite as

Runoff and erosion from volcanic soils affected by fire: the case of Austrocedrus chilensis forests in Patagonia, Argentina

  • Daniela Morales
  • César Mario Rostagno
  • Ludmila La Manna
Regular Article



We characterized the runoff and erosion from a volcanic soil in an Austrocedrus chilensis forest affected by a wildfire, and we evaluated the effects of a mitigation treatment.


Rainfall simulations were performed in the unburned and burned forest, with and without vegetation cover, and under a mitigation treatment.


After the wildfire, the mean infiltration rate decreased from 100 mm h−1 in unburned soils to 51 and 64 mm h−1 in the burned with and without litter and vegetation cover, respectively. The fast establishment of bryophytes accelerated the recovery of soil stability. Sediment production was negligible in the control plots (4.4 g m−2); meanwhile in the burned plots, it was 118.7 g m−2 and increased to 1026.1 g m−2 in the burned and bare plots. Total C and N losses in the control plots were negligible, while in the burned and bare plots the organic C and total N removed were 98.25 and 1.64 g m2, respectively. The effect of mitigation treatment was efficient in reducing the runoff, but it did not affect the sediment production.


These fertile volcanic soils promoted the recovery of vegetation in a short time after the wildfire, diminishing the risk of erosion.


Austrocedrus chilensis Erosion Mitigation Volcanic soils Wildfire 



We acknowledge Lina Videla, Juan Monges and Iván Portscher for their help with the fieldwork. This research was supporting by PICTO 36860 of the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion (ANPCyT).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniela Morales
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • César Mario Rostagno
    • 3
    • 4
  • Ludmila La Manna
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación y Extensión Forestal Andino Patagónico (CIEFAP)EsquelArgentina
  2. 2.Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco (UNPSJB)EsquelArgentina
  3. 3.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Centro Nacional Patagónico (CENPAT)Puerto MadrynArgentina

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