Effects of large scale forest fires on water quality in interior Alaska
Document Type: Report
Author(s): Frederick B. Lotspeich; Ernst W. Mueller; Paul J. Frey
Publication Year: 1970

Cataloging Information

  • aborigines
  • C - carbon
  • catastrophic fires
  • chemistry
  • community ecology
  • copper
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • erosion
  • erosion control
  • fire injuries (plants)
  • fire management
  • fire management planning
  • fire regimes
  • fire suppression
  • firebreak
  • fish
  • forest management
  • fuel accumulation
  • fuel moisture
  • grasses
  • ground cover
  • invasive species
  • invertebrates
  • iron
  • K - potassium
  • lightning caused fires
  • litter
  • manganese
  • microorganisms
  • mineral soil
  • minerals
  • mining
  • mortality
  • mosaic
  • multiple resource management
  • N - nitrogen
  • organic layer
  • organic matter
  • P - phosphorus
  • pH
  • plant communities
  • plant growth
  • pollution
  • population density
  • post-fire recovery
  • precipitation
  • prehistoric fires
  • regeneration
  • rehabilitation
  • sampling
  • seasonal activities
  • sedimentation
  • shrubs
  • sodium
  • soil erosion
  • soil leaching
  • soil nutrients
  • soil organisms
  • soil permeability
  • soils
  • species diversity
  • statistical analysis
  • streams
  • suppression tactics
  • taiga
  • temperature
  • understory vegetation
  • water
  • water quality
  • wildfires
  • wildlife
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: September 16, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 5969
Tall Timbers Record Number: 3717
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.


From objectives (page 13): 'Objectives of the study were: (1) to develop sufficient understanding of the effects of forest fires on water quality of Alaskan streams so that it may be possible to make rational decisions for allocating manpower and funds for controlling specific fires, and (2) to develop and understanding of needs for rehabilitation (revegetation, erosion prevention, etc.) control immediate and future polluting effects of the fire on the aquatic environment.' From summary and conclusions (pages 15-16): '1. In general, burning was not severe enough to destroy the entire organic layer. 2. The depth of thawing was not affected by the fire. 3. Burning of the organic layer causes a decrease in the cation exchange capacity of the soil. 4. Only the organic layer is useful in diagnosing the changes in soil chemistry. 5. The only evidence of increased erosion was in the fire trails. 6. Potassium concentrations are higher in streams draining burned areas than in streams draining unburned areas. 10. There was no change of statistical significance to the benthic fauna of the streams that can be attributed to the effects of the fire. 11. Fire control methods may cause more serious, long-lasting damage to the aquatic ecosystem within the burned area than the fire itself. In developing a fire control plan, sufficient forethought should be given to the possible consequences of control measures to prevent extensive damage to the taiga ecosystem.'

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (6.6 MB; pdf)
Lotspeich, Frederick B.; Mueller, Ernst W.; Frey, Paul J. 1970. Effects of large scale forest fires on water quality in interior Alaska. U.S. Department of the Interior, Federal Water Pollution Control Adminstration, Alaska Water Laboratory. 115 p.