Soil organic carbon and black carbon storage and dynamics under different fire regimes in temperate mixed-grass savanna
Article first published online: 19 JUL 2006
Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.
Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume 20, Issue 3, September 2006
How to Cite
2006), Soil organic carbon and black carbon storage and dynamics under different fire regimes in temperate mixed-grass savanna, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 20, GB3006, doi:10.1029/2005GB002670., , and (
- Issue published online: 19 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 19 JUL 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 MAY 2006
- Manuscript Revised: 14 APR 2006
- Manuscript Received: 12 DEC 2005
- seasonal fire;
- stable isotopes
 We quantified the effects of repeated, seasonal fires on soil organic carbon (SOC), black carbon (BC), and total N in controls and four fire treatments differing in frequency and season of occurrence in a temperate savanna. The SOC at 0–20 cm depth increased from 2044 g C m−2 in controls to 2393–2534 g C m−2 in the three treatments that included summer fire. Similarly, soil total N (0–20 cm) increased from 224 g N m−2 in the control to 251–255 g N m−2 in the treatments that included summer fire. However, winter fires had no effect on SOC or total N. Plant species composition coupled with lower δ13C of SOC suggested that increased soil C in summer fire treatments was related to shifts in community composition toward greater relative productivity by C3 species. Lower δ15N of soil total N in summer fire treatments was consistent with a scenario in which N inputs > N losses. The BC storage was not altered by fire, and comprised 13–17% of SOC in all treatments. Results indicated that fire and its season of occurrence can significantly alter ecosystem processes and the storage of C and N in savanna ecosystems.