Insights Into Fire-based Soil Temperature and Moisture Changes From a Long-term Data Set in Alaska

bill.cable [ at ]


Wildfires are one of the main sources of disturbance in boreal forests. Post-fire changes to soil temperature and moisture regimes can have wide-ranging impacts on boreal forests including the depth at which permafrost is found, vegetation recovery, and carbon and nitrogen cycling. Surface soil temperatures increase following fire, due to loss of shading from tree canopies and a thinner surface organic layer. Post-fire soil temperature and moisture regimes also change due to reduced transpiration and changes in surface albedo. The duration of these changes depends on factors such as region, fire intensity, and soil texture. Here we present results from a long-term (1999 to present) dataset of soil conditions for four black spruce boreal forest sites located in Interior Alaska across burn and permafrost gradients: 1) burned, no permafrost, 2) unburned, no permafrost, 3) burned, with permafrost, and 4) unburned, with permafrost. The data from these sites demonstrate how both burning and the presence of permafrost influence soil temperature and moisture, as well as the timing of seasonal changes, for over twenty years. In addition, we discuss the challenges of maintaining and collecting data from field instruments deployed for decades in harsh conditions. All data discussed in this presentation will be available on the Bonanza Creek Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) website and is available for future studies.

Item Type
Conference (Poster)
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Peer revision
Not peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Event Details
AGU 2020 Fall Meeting, 01 Dec 2020 - 17 Dec 2020, virtual.
Eprint ID
DOI 10.1002/essoar.10505527.1

Cite as
Manies, K. , Harden, J. , Cable, W. and Hollingsworth, J. (2020): Insights Into Fire-based Soil Temperature and Moisture Changes From a Long-term Data Set in Alaska , AGU 2020 Fall Meeting, virtual, 1 December 2020 - 17 December 2020 . doi: 10.1002/essoar.10505527.1


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