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Journal of Arid Land  2019, Vol. 11 Issue (6): 811-823    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0022-9
Orginal Article     
Effects of recovery time after fire and fire severity on stand structure and soil of larch forest in the Kanas National Nature Reserve, Northwest China
LIU Xiaoju1,2, PAN Cunde1,*()
1 College of Forestry and Horticulture, Xinjiang Agricultural University, Urumqi 830052, China
2 Landscape Technical Faculty, Xinjiang Agricultural Vocational Technical College, Changji 831100, China
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Forest recovery may be influenced by several factors, of which fire is the most critical. However, moderate- and long-term effects of fire on forest recovery are less researched in Northwest China. Thus, the effects of different forest recovery time after fire (1917 (served as the control), 1974, 1983 and 1995) and fire severities (low, moderate and high) on larch (Larix sibirica Ledeb.) forest were investigated in the Kanas National Nature Reserve (KNNR), Northwest China in 2017. This paper analyzed post-fire changes in stand density, total basal area (TBA), litter mass, soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil nutrients (total nitrogen, total phosphorus and total potassium) with one-way analyses of variance. Results indicate that litter mass, TBA, SOC and soil nutrients increased with increasing recovery time after fire and decreasing fire severity, while the stand density showed an opposite response. The effects of fire disturbance on SOC and soil nutrients decreased with increasing soil depth. Moreover, we found that the time of more than 43 a is needed to recover the litter mass, TBA, SOC and soil nutrients to the pre-fire level. In conclusion, high-severity fire caused the greatest variations in stand structure and soil of larch forest, and low-severity fire was more advantageous for post-fire forest stand structure and soil recovery in the KNNR. Therefore, low-severity fire can be an efficient management mean through reducing the accumulation of forest floor fuel of post-fire forests in the KNNR, Northwest China.

Key wordsfire severity      recovery time      litter mass      total basal area      soil organic carbon      total nitrogen      total phosphorus      total potassium     
Received: 19 October 2018      Published: 10 December 2019
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Cite this article:

LIU Xiaoju, PAN Cunde. Effects of recovery time after fire and fire severity on stand structure and soil of larch forest in the Kanas National Nature Reserve, Northwest China. Journal of Arid Land, 2019, 11(6): 811-823.

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