Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (522.0 KB bytes)

Title: Redistribution of pyrogenic carbon from hillslopes to stream corridors following a large montane wildfire

Author: Cotrufo, M. Francesca; Boot, Claudia M.; Kampf, Stephanie; Nelson, Peter A.; Brogan, Daniel J.; Covino, Tim; Haddix, Michelle L.; MacDonald, Lee H.; Rathburn, Sarah; Ryan-Burkett, Sandra; Schmeer, Sarah; Hall, Ed;

Date: 2016

Source: Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 30: 1348-1355.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Pyrogenic carbon (PyC) constitutes a significant fraction of organic carbon in most soils. However, PyC soil stocks are generally smaller than what is expected from estimates of PyC produced from fire and decomposition losses, implying that other processes cause PyC loss from soils. Surface erosion has been previously suggested as one such process. To address this, following a large wildfire in the Rocky Mountains (CO, USA), we tracked PyC from the litter layer and soil, through eroded, suspended, and dissolved solids to alluvial deposits along riversides. We separated deposited sediment into high- and low-density fractions to identify preferential forms of PyC transport and quantified PyC in all samples and density fractions using benzene polycarboxylic acid markers. A few months after the fire, PyC had yet to move vertically into the mineral soil and remained in the organic layer or had been transported off site by rainfall driven overland flow. During major storm events PyC was associated with suspended sediments in river water and later identified in low-density riverbank deposits. Flows from an unusually long-duration and high magnitude rainstorm either removed or buried the riverbank sediments approximately 1 year after their deposition. We conclude that PyC redistributes after wildfire in patterns that are consistent with erosion and deposition of low-density sediments. A more complete understanding of PyC dynamics requires attention to the interaction of post fire precipitation patterns and geomorphological features that control surface erosion and deposition throughout the watershed.

Keywords: pyrogenic carbon (PyC), organic carbon, soil, wildfire, streams

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Cotrufo, M. Francesca; Boot, Claudia M.; Kampf, Stephanie; Nelson, Peter A.; Brogan, Daniel J.; Covino, Tim; Haddix, Michelle L.; MacDonald, Lee H.; Rathburn, Sarah; Ryan-Burkett, Sandra; Schmeer, Sarah; Hall, Ed. 2016. Redistribution of pyrogenic carbon from hillslopes to stream corridors following a large montane wildfire. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 30: 1348-1355.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.