Responses in Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Fractionation after Prescribed Burning in the Montseny Biosphere Reserve (NE Iberian Peninsula)

Sangita Chowdhury*, José Manjón-Cabeza, Mercedes Ibáñez, Christian Mestre, Maria José Broncano, María Rosa Mosquera-Losada, Josefina Plaixats, M. Teresa Sebastià

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Prescribed fire is one of the most widely-used management tools to recover encroached rangelands. Fire has been reported to cause changes in the soil physical and chemical properties. However, the legacy effects of former plant species on soil responses to fire remains unknown. The legacy effect of the former extant plant species on soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) fractionation distribution after prescribed burning in topsoil (0–5 cm and 5–10 cm) was investigated in Mediterranean shrublands in Montseny. We sampled soils under five vegetation patch types: Cytisus scoparius L., Calluna vulgaris L., Erica arborea L., Pteridium aquilinum L., and Cladonia biocrusts, pre-and post-burning. Multivariate analysis on soil C and N fractions showed that soils under the legume Cytisus and the biocrust were the most differentiated. Vegetation patch types tended to respond differently to burning, soils under Cytisus, Cladonia and Calluna showing the strongest response. Total C and N, and C and N in sand decreased after burning in the 0–5 cm soil layer. Conversely, C in silt, as well as N in clay and silt, increased with soil depth after burning. This study will be helpful for understanding ecological legacy effects and their possible consequences when planning prescribed burning.

Translated title of the contributionRespuestas en el fraccionamiento de carbono y nitrógeno del suelo tras quemas prescritas en la Reserva de la Biosfera del Montseny (NE Península Ibérica)
Original languageEnglish
Article number4232
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2022


  • Calluna vulgaris
  • Cytisus scoparius
  • biocrusts
  • plant species-fire interactions
  • prescribed burning
  • soil particle size fractions


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