Relationships between ericaceous vegetation and soil nutrient status in a post-fire Kalmia angustifolia-black spruce chronosequence
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): R. G. Bloom; A. U. Mallik
Publication Year: 2006

Cataloging Information

  • Abies balsamea
  • aluminum
  • Angustifolium
  • black spruce
  • boreal coniferous forest
  • boreal forests
  • bryophytes
  • calcium
  • Canada
  • coniferous forests
  • cover
  • dominance (ecology)
  • Ericaceae
  • fire frequency
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • herbaceous vegetation
  • iron
  • K - potassium
  • Kalmia
  • Kalmia angustifolia
  • Kalmia heath
  • lichens
  • litter
  • magnesium
  • manganese
  • mineral soils
  • mortality
  • national parks
  • Newfoundland
  • nitrogen
  • nutrient status
  • organic soils
  • pH
  • phosphorus
  • Picea mariana
  • plant-soil feedback
  • polyphenols
  • post fire recovery
  • S - sulfur
  • sampling
  • secondary succession
  • shrubs
  • sodium
  • soil management
  • soil moisture
  • soil nutrients
  • soil organic matter
  • soil temperature
  • soils
  • succession
  • time since fire
  • vegetation surveys
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 48005
Tall Timbers Record Number: 24050
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Post-fire nutrient flushes are an important precursor to secondary succession in fire-driven boreal forest. We studied the magnitude of changes in post-fire soil nutrient status across a chronosequence of ericaceous shrub-dominated boreal forest stands in eastern Newfoundland, Canada. The chronosequence comprised nine stands burned between 1 and 38 years prior to the study. These sites have resisted tree reestablishment following forest fire-induced mortality of black spruce and a concomitant increase in dominance of the ericaceous dwarf shrub Kalmia angustifolia L. Our objectives were: (1) to identify the factors driving soil nutrient status in these post-fire stands dominated by ericaceous plants, and (2) to test hypotheses that specific relationships exist among environmental factors, dominant vegetation and indicators of soil nutrient status. Macronutrients such as NH[(4)(+)] total organic N and mineral soil P concentrations showed non-linear declines with time since fire. These parameters were also negatively associated with cover of ericaceous plants. Potential phytotoxins such as total phenolics and aluminium concentrations increased with increasing cover of K. angustifolia. Variability in net ammonification, total P and total phenolic acids in organic soils were strongly related to ericaceous dominance even when the effect of time since fire was partialled out using regression analysis. These findings suggest a strong capacity for ericaceous vegetation to have top-down effects on soil chemical property particularly in the organic horizon with the increase in its post-fire dominance. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Online Link(s):
Bloom, R. G., and A. U. Mallik. 2006. Relationships between ericaceous vegetation and soil nutrient status in a post-fire Kalmia angustifolia-black spruce chronosequence. Plant and Soil, v. 289, no. 1-2, p. 211-226. 10.1007/s11104-006-9130-3.