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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Scientists investigated changes in the soil after fires

Employees of the Department of soil science of MSU named after M. V. Lomonosov, Institute of biology, Komi scientific center, Ural branch of RAS investigated soils and their organic matter when exposed to fire. The results of their work, scientists published in the journal Environmental Earth Sciences.

“It is shown that fires can significantly change the soil and organic matter in boreal soils — soils of cold temperate bioclimatic zone of the Northern hemisphere. The different pools and fractions of organic matter react differently to the pyrogenic effects (high temperatures),” — said one of the authors of articles, leading researcher of the laboratory of physics Department of physics and melioration of soils Department of soil science, Moscow state University Evgeny milanovskiy.

In the course of work, scientists have used methods such as 13C-NMR — nuclear magnetic resonance on nuclei of carbon 13C, the classical methods of chemical analysis of soil, description of soil morphology, high performance chromatography, fractionation of soils (separation of elements in soils is influenced by changes in physico-chemical parameters of the environment) and others.

“The results obtained in the framework of the preparation of the article may be used for global assessments of changes in carbon stocks in soils of the boreal zone. It is revealed that fires significantly alter the amphiphilic — hydrophobic and simultaneously hydrophilic properties of the upper mineral horizons. It is shown that fires result in an increase in the upper soil horizons aromatic structures, including carcinogenic organic compounds — PAHs. PAHs persist in soil for at least 16 years. You can assume that the data can later be used to reconstruct the history of formation of forest phytocenoses”, — concluded the scientist.

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