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Effect of Fires on Certain Properties of Forest Soils in Western Algeria

Abstract : Natural disturbances, such as forest fires, cause significant changes in the structure and functioning of semi-arid ecosystems. After such disturbances, the impact on the soil ecosystem in its entirety is misunderstood. In this study, two years after the last fire, changes in the physicochemical and biological properties of Aleppo pine forest soils in the semi-arid zone were observed. Among all physical properties analysed, only the soil moisture remained significantly lower in the burnt zone in contrast to control zone. Considering the chemical properties, the only negatively affected parameter is the rate of organic matter. In terms of biological properties, results showed that the fire caused a significant decrease in soil microorganisms by decreasing basal respiration and microbial biomass. Conversely, the metabolic quotient recorded higher values in the fire zone than in the control zone. These results indicate that microbial communities in semi-arid soils, already stressed by climatic hazards, are very sensitive to the passage of even low-intensity fires.
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Ayoub Allam, Amine Habib Borsali, Abdelkrim Kefifa, Mohamed Zouidi, Raphaël Gros. Effect of Fires on Certain Properties of Forest Soils in Western Algeria. Acta Technologica Agriculturae, 2020, 23 (3), pp.111-117. ⟨10.2478/ata-2020-0018⟩. ⟨hal-02937825⟩

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