Encyclopedia of Wildfires and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires

Living Edition
| Editors: Samuel L. Manzello

Fire Effects on Soils and Hydrology

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51727-8_257-1



Changes to soil properties and hydrology caused by direct and indirect effects of fire


Fire can change soil and hydrology in different ways: directly by heating soils and changing soil properties and indirectly by removing protective ground cover and creating ash. The size of these changes is referred to as fire severity or soil burn severity and varies greatly between fire types. They can range from minimal in (controlled) moving landscape fires that occur when soils are moist, to substantial in fires that stay in a single place for very long such as pile burns and smoldering fires. The combined effects of soil and ground cover changes can alter the response of soils and streams to rainfall. Fire can therefore potentially increase a landscape’s vulnerability to erosion and flooding events, also referred to as ecosystem responses (Keeley 2009).

This contribution describes the direct and indirect effects of fire on soils...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kuibin Zhou
    • 1
  1. 1.Nanjing Tech UniversityNanjingChina