A laboratory study was performed to test the effects of burning on soil solutions. Soils from beneath slash piles that had been burned as well as soils from unburned areas were amended with varying amounts of ash to create ratios of ash to soil ranging from pure ash to pure soil. Amended soils were then repeatedly extracted with deionized water. Results showed that a large quantity of nutrients, particularly potassium and NO3 −−N, were released from the ash into soil extractant. In most cases, nutrients from ash dominated the observed effects, but in the case of NH4 +, burned soil was the main source. Calcium, Mg2+, and PO4 3−−P showed signs of being more responsive to soil chemical processes (displacement of native soil ions, dissolution, adsorption, and precipitation) than to the ash influx.
1Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV.
2Forest Science Laboratory, USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, Reno, NV.
Address for correspondence: Department of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Desert Research Institute, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial Disclosures/Conflicts of Interest: This study was supported by the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station, College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, University of Nevada, Reno.
Received August 5, 2011.
Accepted for publication January 19, 2012.