Journal article

Combustion influences on natural abundance nitrogen isotope ratio in soil and plants following a wildfire in a sub-alpine ecosystem

Edith Huber, Tina L Bell, Mark A Adams

OECOLOGIA | SPRINGER | Published : 2013

Abstract

This before-and-after-impact study uses the natural abundance N isotope ratio (δ(15)N) to investigate the effects of a wildfire on sub-alpine ecosystem properties and processes. We measured the (15)N signatures of soil, charred organic material, ash and foliage in three sub-alpine plant communities (grassland, heathland and woodland) in south-eastern Australia. Surface bulk soil was temporarily enriched in (15)N immediately after wildfire compared to charred organic material and ash in all plant communities. We associated the enrichment of bulk soil with fractionation of N during combustion and volatilization of N, a process that also explains the sequential enrichment of (15)N of unburnt le..

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University of Melbourne Researchers