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Burned-Unburned Resin Extractor Soil Nutrient Comparison Yellowstone National Park, Final Report

Cliff Montagne and Earl Skogley, Co-P.I., Bernard Schaff, Co-investigator. May, 1992. Contribution from the Plant and Soil Science Department and the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.    22 pgs.
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     Forest fires can have a large influence on soil nutrients by altering the normal cycling and resulting in leaching of some elements. Normally studies to detect these effects rely upon repeated soil sampling over time, or installation of vacuum extraction porous cups. An alternative methodology for soil and environmental testing is being developed at Montana State University. Immediately after the extensive fires in Yellowstone National Park during the summer and fall of 1988, a small experiment was initiated to investigate the utility of this new methodology, which is based on resin capsule accumulation of elements. Soil samples which were collected at the beginning and end (30 months) of the study period indicated soil differences and fire effects could be shown in this manner. However, results from resin capsule accumulation of nutrients provided a continuous record of nutrient dynamics and revealed that N had probably leached beyond the soil and into the parent rock. The dynamics of other nutrients during this period were also expressed by the resin data. Results suggest that this approach can be developed to provide improved data for specific management guidelines for specific soils and sites.

Additional Index Words: Soil Chemistry, Nutrients, Fire.

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