Contrasting soil thermal responses to fire in Alaskan tundra and boreal forest Jiang, Yueyang Rocha, Adrian V. O’Donnell, Jonathan A. Drysdale, Jessica A. Rastetter, Edward B. Shaver, Gaius R. Zhuang, Qianlai 2015-04-27T18:39:05Z 2015-08-24T08:16:47Z 2015-02-24
dc.description Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2015. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 120 (2015): 363–378, doi:10.1002/2014JF003180. en_US
dc.description.abstract Recent fire activity throughout Alaska has increased the need to understand postfire impacts on soils and permafrost vulnerability. Our study utilized data and modeling from a permafrost and ecosystem gradient to develop a mechanistic understanding of the short- and long-term impacts of tundra and boreal forest fires on soil thermal dynamics. Fires influenced a variety of factors that altered the surface energy budget, soil moisture, and the organic-layer thickness with the overall effect of increasing soil temperatures and thaw depth. The postfire thickness of the soil organic layer and its impact on soil thermal conductivity was the most important factor determining postfire soil temperatures and thaw depth. Boreal and tundra ecosystems underlain by permafrost experienced smaller postfire soil temperature increases than the nonpermafrost boreal forest from the direct and indirect effects of permafrost on drainage, soil moisture, and vegetation flammability. Permafrost decreased the loss of the insulating soil organic layer, decreased soil drying, increased surface water pooling, and created a significant heat sink to buffer postfire soil temperature and thaw depth changes. Ecosystem factors also played a role in determining postfire thaw depth with boreal forests taking several decades longer to recover their soil thermal properties than tundra. These factors resulted in tundra being less sensitive to postfire soil thermal changes than the nonpermafrost boreal forest. These results suggest that permafrost and soil organic carbon will be more vulnerable to fire as climate warms. en_US
dc.description.embargo 2015-08-24 en_US
dc.description.sponsorship We are pleased to acknowledge funding from the US National Science Foundation, grants DEB-1026843 and EF-1065587, to the Marine Biological Laboratory. Additional logistical support was provided by Toolik Field Station and CH2MHill, funded by NSF's Office of Polar Programs. en_US
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dc.identifier.citation Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 120 (2015): 363–378 en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1002/2014JF003180
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher John Wiley & Sons en_US
dc.subject Soil thermal dynamics en_US
dc.subject Fire disturbance en_US
dc.subject Thermal conductivity en_US
dc.title Contrasting soil thermal responses to fire in Alaskan tundra and boreal forest en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dspace.entity.type Publication
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