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Effects of terrace construction on runoff and erosion in a recently burnt forest area in north-central Portugal

Author(s): M.A.S. Martins | D. Serpa | A.I. Machado | R.F.H. de Lenne | A.G.v.d. Linden | S.R. Faria | R.S.V. Ferreira | I. Skulska | S.A. Prats | M.E.T. Varela | J.J. Keizer

Journal: Flamma
ISSN 2171-665X

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 81;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Forestry | Terraces | Runoff | Erosion | Wildfires

In present-day Portugal, wildfires are a common phenomenon that, on average, affects some 100.000 ha of forest lands each year. Fires can markedly increase runoff generation and the associated sediment transport, nevertheless the magnitude of these impacts strongly depends on post-fire forestry management practices. This study evaluates the effect of terrace construction on runoff and erosion at micro-plot and catchment scale, six months after a wildfire in a forest area in north central Portugal. At the micro-plot scale, there was a clear trend for greater runoff volumes and sediment losses after the construction of terraces. In addition, pre-terracing sediment losses showed a visible relationship with rainfall amounts unlike post-terracing losses. At the catchment scale, an increase in sediment losses was observed after terracing consistently with micro-plot data.
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