Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Among all global ecosystems, tropical savannas are the most severely and extensively affected by anthropogenic burning. Frequency of fire in cerrado,a type of tropical savanna covering 25% of Brazil, is 2 to 4 years. In 1992 we measured soil fluxes of NO, N2O, CH4, and CO2 from cerrado sites that had been burned within the previous 2 days, 30 days, 1 year, and from a control site last burned in 1976. NO and N2O fluxes responded dramatically to fire with the highest fluxes observed from newly burned soils after addition of water. Emissions of N-trace gases after burning were of similar magnitude to estimated emissions during combustion. NO fluxes immediately after burning are among the highest observed for any ecosystem studied to date. These rates declined with time after burning and had returned to control levels 1 year after the burn. An assessment of our data suggested that tropical savanna, burned or unburned, is a major source of NO to the troposphere. Cerrado appeared to be a minor source of N2O and a sink for atmospheric CH4. Burning also elevated CO2 fluxes, which remained detectably elevated 1 year later.
Nitrous-Oxide Flux; Nitrosomonas-europaea; Atmospheric Chemistry; Methane Emission; Forest; Fire; Deforestation
Poth, M; Anderson, Iris C.; and al, et, The Magnitude And Persistence Of Soil No, N2O, Ch4, And Co, Fluxes From Burned Tropical Savanna In Brazil (1995). Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 9(4), 503-513.