Notes on the “Short Course on methods and techniques to study soils affected by fire”


The Short Course on methods and techniques to study soils affected by fire was organized by Paulo Pereira (Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania), Antonio Jordán (University of Sevilla, Spain), Guillermo Rein (Imperial College London, UK), Victoria Arcenegui (Miguel Hernández University, Spain), Xavier Ubeda (University of Barcelona, Spain), Lorena M. Zavala (University of Sevilla, Spain).

Fire is a natural element of the ecosystems. Despite the different frequency, fire is a common visitor of many worldwide biomes. Earth is the planet of fire, since shaped naturally or, by human influence, the ecosystems as we know them today. Among other impacts, fire has important direct and indirect impacts on soil properties (e.g soil physics, erosion, chemistry, biology), and can be used as a proxy for palaeoecological studies.

The Short Course on methods and techniques to study soils affected by fire was the first carried out in Soil System Sciences Division. Aimed to make a synthesis of the latest methods used in fire effects on soil properties and integrate new topics as smouldering. This was important also to create a stronger network among fire researchers and exchange of methodologies and experience in fire studies. The invited speakers covered an important part of fire research (Figure 1 and 2).

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Figure 1. Dr. Guillermo Rein speaking about “Methods to study the extent, depth and damage of smouldering fires in organic soils”.
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Figure 2. Dr. María Fernández-Raga speaking about “Methodologies for measuring rainsplash effects in fire-affected soils”

The course was very successful and the audience was interested and participative. We considered that the course was very well received by the attendants and the room attributed was not enough to all the participants (Figure 3). In the next EGU 2014 we will organize the second edition of the course and we will try to update the methodologies presented and invite experts in other areas not covered in the first edition.

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Figure 3. Course participants.

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