Historical land-use influences the long-term stream turbidity response to a wildfire

Evan T. Harrison, Fiona Dyer, Daniel W. Wright, Chris Levings

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Wildfires commonly result in an increase in stream turbidity. However, the influence of pre-fire land-use practices on post-fire stream turbidity is not well understood. The Lower Cotter Catchment (LCC) in south-eastern Australia is part of the main water supply catchment for Canberra with land in the catchment historically managed for a mix of conservation (native eucalypt forest) and pine (Pinus radiata) plantation. In January 2003, wildfires burned almost all of the native and pine forests in the LCC. A study was established in 2005 to determine stream post-fire turbidity recovery within the native and pine forest areas of the catchment. Turbidity data loggers were deployed in two creeks within burned native forest and burned pine forest areas to determine turbidity response to fire in these areas. As a part of the study, we also determined changes in bare soil in the native and pine forest areas since the fire. The results suggest that the time, it takes turbidity levels to decrease following wildfire, is dependent upon the preceding land-use. In the LCC, turbidity levels decreased more rapidly in areas previously with native vegetation compared to areas which were previously used for pine forestry. This is likely because of a higher percentage of bare soil areas for a longer period of time in the ex-pine forest estate and instream stores of fine sediment from catchment erosion during post-fire storm events. The results of our study show that the previous land-use may exert considerable control over on-going turbidity levels following a wildfire.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)393-400
    Number of pages8
    JournalEnvironmental Management
    Volume53
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

    Fingerprint

    Turbidity
    wildfire
    Land use
    turbidity
    Catchments
    land use
    catchment
    Fires
    bare soil
    Soils
    Forestry
    Water supply
    Erosion
    Conservation
    forestry
    Sediments
    plantation
    water supply
    erosion
    Recovery

    Cite this

    Harrison, Evan T. ; Dyer, Fiona ; Wright, Daniel W. ; Levings, Chris. / Historical land-use influences the long-term stream turbidity response to a wildfire. In: Environmental Management. 2014 ; Vol. 53, No. 2. pp. 393-400.
    @article{c3c317dc775141ce975c919cf78cd11f,
    title = "Historical land-use influences the long-term stream turbidity response to a wildfire",
    abstract = "Wildfires commonly result in an increase in stream turbidity. However, the influence of pre-fire land-use practices on post-fire stream turbidity is not well understood. The Lower Cotter Catchment (LCC) in south-eastern Australia is part of the main water supply catchment for Canberra with land in the catchment historically managed for a mix of conservation (native eucalypt forest) and pine (Pinus radiata) plantation. In January 2003, wildfires burned almost all of the native and pine forests in the LCC. A study was established in 2005 to determine stream post-fire turbidity recovery within the native and pine forest areas of the catchment. Turbidity data loggers were deployed in two creeks within burned native forest and burned pine forest areas to determine turbidity response to fire in these areas. As a part of the study, we also determined changes in bare soil in the native and pine forest areas since the fire. The results suggest that the time, it takes turbidity levels to decrease following wildfire, is dependent upon the preceding land-use. In the LCC, turbidity levels decreased more rapidly in areas previously with native vegetation compared to areas which were previously used for pine forestry. This is likely because of a higher percentage of bare soil areas for a longer period of time in the ex-pine forest estate and instream stores of fine sediment from catchment erosion during post-fire storm events. The results of our study show that the previous land-use may exert considerable control over on-going turbidity levels following a wildfire.",
    keywords = "Cotter River Catchment, Fine sediment, Forestry, Land-use",
    author = "Harrison, {Evan T.} and Fiona Dyer and Wright, {Daniel W.} and Chris Levings",
    year = "2014",
    month = "2",
    doi = "10.1007/s00267-013-0193-7",
    language = "English",
    volume = "53",
    pages = "393--400",
    journal = "Environmental Management",
    issn = "0364-152X",
    publisher = "Springer",
    number = "2",

    }

    Historical land-use influences the long-term stream turbidity response to a wildfire. / Harrison, Evan T.; Dyer, Fiona; Wright, Daniel W.; Levings, Chris.

    In: Environmental Management, Vol. 53, No. 2, 02.2014, p. 393-400.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Historical land-use influences the long-term stream turbidity response to a wildfire

    AU - Harrison, Evan T.

    AU - Dyer, Fiona

    AU - Wright, Daniel W.

    AU - Levings, Chris

    PY - 2014/2

    Y1 - 2014/2

    N2 - Wildfires commonly result in an increase in stream turbidity. However, the influence of pre-fire land-use practices on post-fire stream turbidity is not well understood. The Lower Cotter Catchment (LCC) in south-eastern Australia is part of the main water supply catchment for Canberra with land in the catchment historically managed for a mix of conservation (native eucalypt forest) and pine (Pinus radiata) plantation. In January 2003, wildfires burned almost all of the native and pine forests in the LCC. A study was established in 2005 to determine stream post-fire turbidity recovery within the native and pine forest areas of the catchment. Turbidity data loggers were deployed in two creeks within burned native forest and burned pine forest areas to determine turbidity response to fire in these areas. As a part of the study, we also determined changes in bare soil in the native and pine forest areas since the fire. The results suggest that the time, it takes turbidity levels to decrease following wildfire, is dependent upon the preceding land-use. In the LCC, turbidity levels decreased more rapidly in areas previously with native vegetation compared to areas which were previously used for pine forestry. This is likely because of a higher percentage of bare soil areas for a longer period of time in the ex-pine forest estate and instream stores of fine sediment from catchment erosion during post-fire storm events. The results of our study show that the previous land-use may exert considerable control over on-going turbidity levels following a wildfire.

    AB - Wildfires commonly result in an increase in stream turbidity. However, the influence of pre-fire land-use practices on post-fire stream turbidity is not well understood. The Lower Cotter Catchment (LCC) in south-eastern Australia is part of the main water supply catchment for Canberra with land in the catchment historically managed for a mix of conservation (native eucalypt forest) and pine (Pinus radiata) plantation. In January 2003, wildfires burned almost all of the native and pine forests in the LCC. A study was established in 2005 to determine stream post-fire turbidity recovery within the native and pine forest areas of the catchment. Turbidity data loggers were deployed in two creeks within burned native forest and burned pine forest areas to determine turbidity response to fire in these areas. As a part of the study, we also determined changes in bare soil in the native and pine forest areas since the fire. The results suggest that the time, it takes turbidity levels to decrease following wildfire, is dependent upon the preceding land-use. In the LCC, turbidity levels decreased more rapidly in areas previously with native vegetation compared to areas which were previously used for pine forestry. This is likely because of a higher percentage of bare soil areas for a longer period of time in the ex-pine forest estate and instream stores of fine sediment from catchment erosion during post-fire storm events. The results of our study show that the previous land-use may exert considerable control over on-going turbidity levels following a wildfire.

    KW - Cotter River Catchment

    KW - Fine sediment

    KW - Forestry

    KW - Land-use

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84895077029&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/historical-landuse-influences-longterm-stream-turbidity-response-wildfire

    U2 - 10.1007/s00267-013-0193-7

    DO - 10.1007/s00267-013-0193-7

    M3 - Article

    VL - 53

    SP - 393

    EP - 400

    JO - Environmental Management

    JF - Environmental Management

    SN - 0364-152X

    IS - 2

    ER -