A Soil Burn Severity Index for Understanding Soil-Fire Relations in Tropical Forests

TitleA Soil Burn Severity Index for Understanding Soil-Fire Relations in Tropical Forests
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsJain, TB, Gould, WA, Graham, RT, Pilliod, DS, Lentile, LB, González, G
JournalAmbio
Volume37
Pagination563-568
Accession NumberLUQ.905
Keywordstropical forests
Abstract

Methods for evaluating the impact of fires within tropical forests are needed as fires become more frequent and human populations and demands on forests increase. Short- and long-term fire effects on soils are determined by the prefire, fire, and postfire environments. We placed these components within a fire-disturbance continuum to guide our literature synthesis and develop an integrated soil burn severity index. The soil burn severity index provides a set of indicators that reflect the range of conditions present after a fire. The index consists of seven levels, an unburned level and six other levels that describe a range of postfire soil conditions. We view this index as a tool for understanding the effects of fires on the forest floor, with the realization that as new information is gained, the index may be modified as warranted.

eda