Soil nitrogen changes associated with slash pile burning in pinyon-juniper woodlands

W. Wallace Covington, Leonard F. DeBano, Thomas G. Huntsberger

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


A combination of a time sequence and an experimental approach, both with repeated measurements, was used to determine the effects of slash pile burning in a pinyon-juniper woodland. Results showed that burning caused mediate increases (approximately 50-fold) in soil ammonium concentrations. Nitrate concentrations were not immediately affected; however, by one year after burning, nitrate concentrations were approximately 20 times higher where piles had been burned than in unburned controls. These increases in inorganic nitrogen disappeared by year 5 after burning. Such a combination of repeated measures with both a time sequence approach and an experimental approach offer a procedure for rapidly estimating long-term response functions in forest research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-355
Number of pages9
JournalForest Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991


  • Ammonium
  • Fire effects
  • Nitrate
  • Response function methodology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Ecological Modeling


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