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Pyrohydrology in African Savannas
Expanded Title:Soils are vital in supporting healthy and functioning ecosystems. Besides providing a medium for plant growth, soils play a major role in ecosystem functioning through nutrient cycling and water filtration through the system, thus when soils are degraded important ecosystem services are affected. Degraded soils may not be able to store and filter water as efficiently thereby affecting water quantity and quality. This in turn has a detrimental effect on catchment hydrological processes. Soils play a major role in landscape hydrology by providing a medium for water distribution and storage. The complex relationship between soil and water has been described as interactive; meaning that the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil influence the manner in which water is transported and stored within the landscape which impacts the ecosystem. This study revealed that it is rather the time following a fire and not necessarily frequency which resulted in decreased soil infiltration, with slowest infiltration rates immediately after the fire. Findings suggested that fire primarily affected infiltration rates at the soil surface and that these fire effects would dissipate within approximately two years— suggesting the soil’s ability to recover; at least in terms of their hydrological function. Soil compaction, which is recognized for impeding soil infiltration, was attributed to soil processes such as raindrop impact and splash but deeper compaction was linked to high herbivore concentrations trampling the soil.
Date Published:07/09/2014
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Water Resource Management/IWRM - Catchment Management, Water Resource Management/IWRM - Hydrogeology, Ecosystem - Invertebrates
Document Keywords:Hydrology
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:2146/1/14
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0585-1
Authors:Strydom T; Rowe T; Riddell E ; Govender N; Lorentz S
Project No:K5/2146
Document Size:3 196 KB
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