Journal article

Effects of fire severity and burn patchiness on hillslope-scale surface runoff, erosion and hydrologic connectivity in a prescribed burn

JG Cawson, GJ Sheridan, HG Smith, PNJ Lane

FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT | ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV | Published : 2013

Abstract

Fire severity and burn patchiness are frequently cited as important to post-fire surface runoff and erosion, yet few studies quantify their effects. A better understanding of their role is needed to predict post-fire erosion and design prescribed burns. Therefore, this study quantified the effects of fire severity and burn patchiness on surface runoff, erosion and hydrologic connectivity using 116 unbounded runoff samplers. The samplers were installed in recently prescribed burnt dry eucalypt forest in Victoria, Australia. Sediment loads over 16-months were approximately three orders of magnitude higher on burnt compared with unburnt hillslopes while differences in runoff and erosion between..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

This project was funded by a Melbourne Research Scholarship (The University of Melbourne), the Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry (Tasmanian, Australia) and Melbourne Water. Thank you to Chris Sherwin for designing the runoff samplers, numerous friends, family and colleagues for assisting with the fieldwork and three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on the draft manuscript.