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The phosphorus‐rich signature of fire in the soil–plant system: a global meta‐analysis

Butler, O. M., Elser, J., Lewis, T., Mackey, B. and Chengrong, C. (2018) The phosphorus‐rich signature of fire in the soil–plant system: a global meta‐analysis. Ecology Letters, 21 (3). pp. 335-344.

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Article Link(s): https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12896

Publisher URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ele.12896

Abstract

Abstract The biogeochemical and stoichiometric signature of vegetation fire may influence post‐fire ecosystem characteristics and the evolution of plant ‘fire traits’. Phosphorus (P), a potentially limiting nutrient in many fire‐prone environments, might be particularly important in this context; however, the effects of fire on P cycling often vary widely. We conducted a global‐scale meta‐analysis using data from 174 soil studies and 39 litter studies, and found that fire led to significantly higher concentrations of soil mineral P as well as significantly lower soil and litter carbon:P and nitrogen:P ratios. These results demonstrate that fire has a P‐rich signature in the soil–plant system that varies with vegetation type. Further, they suggest that burning can ease P limitation and decouple the biogeochemical cycling of P, carbon and nitrogen. These effects resemble a transient reversion to an earlier stage of ecosystem development, and likely underpin at least some of fire's impacts on ecosystems and organisms.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Soils. Soil science > Soil chemistry
Forestry > Research. Experimentation
Deposited On:17 Aug 2018 01:43
Last Modified:05 Dec 2018 02:07

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