Soil recovering after intense burning


Alejandro Rodríguez-Távora
Biology student, University of Sevilla

On 27 July 2004, four arson fires in different points of the Río Tinto mining area (Huelva, SW Spain) led to a wildfire. After a period of abnormally high temperatures and intense drought, fire was burning for days, affecting about 30,000 ha of shrubland, oak, eucalyptus and pine forests in the provinces of Huelva and Sevilla.

View of part of the area burnt in 2004. Photo: Lorena M. Zavala.

These pictures were shot in 2012, eight years after the wildfire, exactly in the area where fire was initiated. In contrast to other affected areas, intense restoration practices were not applied here, and heavy machinery was not used for logging or taking away burnt trees. Although the effects of fire are still visible, natural recovering of soil and vegetation is clear. Soil has gone through its own process of regeneration, and seed banks and resprouting structures have not been affected.

Although dead structures are present (left), shrubland and resprouting trees (right) are recovered. Photo: Alejandro Rodríguez-Távora.
Shrubland and trees cover soil after the wildfire. Photo: Alejandro Rodríguez-Távora.
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One thought on “Soil recovering after intense burning

  1. Me parece demasiado simplista, la recuperación vegetal no se limita a tener “cubierto” el suelo, habrá que valorar qué estructura tenemos y cómo (si es el caso) mejorarla. No defiendo la restauración intensiva con maquinaria, pero no creo que se deba generalizar. En cualquier caso, y si el objetivo era realzar la “no intervención” tras el fuego creo que el post quedaría mejor si incluyera fotos de zonas con las mismas condiciones de vegetación previa y comportamiento del fuego (misma intensidad y tiempo de residencia de la llama) donde sí se intervino. Comparar ambos sería interesante, aunque ya te digo que muchos de los trabajos realizados, no todos, fueron quizás demasiado agresivos. Salu2.

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