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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Wetlands and Aquatic Processes

Peat Fire Effects on Some Properties of an Artificially Drained Peatland


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 3, p. 866-870
    Received: May 5, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): hdikici@ksu.edu.tr
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  1. Huseyin Dikici * and
  2. C. Hakan Yilmaz
  1. Department of Soil Science, Kahramanmaras University, 46060 Kahramanmaras, Turkey


The management of artificially drained organic soils is a very important issue, since the accelerated mineralization and sometimes peat fires alter physical and chemical properties of soils and the availability of plant nutrients. This study was performed to determine relatively short- and long-term effects of peat fires on some physical and chemical properties of soils in the artificially drained Gavur Lake Peatland of Turkey. To achieve this objective, measured properties of soils burned in 2001, burned in 1965, and unburned were compared. The results indicated that soil bulk density, pH, amounts of soluble salts, CaCO3, and concentrations of ammonium acetate–extractable (AAE) Ca, Mg, K, and Na were significantly higher for both sampling depths in the burned areas. The areas burned in 2001 had higher pH, soluble salts, and the concentrations of AAE Ca, Mg, and K compared with sites burned in 1965, and this was reasoned with leaching losses and plant uptake of these basic cations for four decades in the latter. Percent saturation and organic carbon contents of soils, however, were significantly lower in the burned areas for both sampling depths. Olsen P levels were not significantly different between the sites. This work clearly shows that alterations in soils properties with peat fires do not recover in the long term.

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