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Soil erosion as a consequence of wildfires on recently abandoned citrus orchards in eastern Spain

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Author(s): A.Cerdà | F.A. González-Peñaloza | M. Burguet | P. Pereira

Journal: Flamma
ISSN 2171-665X

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 85;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Agriculture | Abandonment | Citrus | Soil erosion | Valencia

ABSTRACT
Fire is a natural factor in the evolution of Earth ecosystems. Due to land abandonment wildfire are widespread in Mediterranean Type Ecosystems, which contribute to increase the soil erosion rates. Fire is also found in recently abandoned citrus orchards due to the quick vegetation recovery and the dry biomass found after 2 years of abandonment. Rainfall simulation experiments (1 hour at 45 mm h-1 in a plot of 0.25 m2) show that although land abandonment on irrigated citrus orchards reduces the soil losses to very low values, the fire increase runoff and soil erosion. Water and soil losses are much lower in the fire-affected plots than on the cultivated ones due to the use of herbicides.
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