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Short-term effects of postfire check-dam construction on ephemeral stream vegetation in a semiarid climate of SE Spain.

08:00 EDT 24th March 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Short-term effects of postfire check-dam construction on ephemeral stream vegetation in a semiarid climate of SE Spain."

Mediterranean basins and their ecosystems have been traditionally affected by wildfires. After a wildfire, check-dam construction in channels is a widespread practice in semi-arid Mediterranean areas as an emergency action to avoid soil erosion. The ways that these structures affect channels' geomorphological and edaphic characteristics or vegetation dynamics, have been widely studied. In relation to vegetation however, the majority of studies have been conducted in mountain torrents. Our approach focuses on how ephemeral streams' vegetation, is affected locally by check-dam construction in the years following a wildfire. Vegetation and soil samplings were carried out in 17 check dams throughout a semiarid area in SE Spain, which was affected by a wildfire in 2012. Check-dams had a significant influence given the accretion of fine sediments in depositional wedges. This accumulation of fine sediments, organic matter and nutrients resulted in the formation of a suitable environment for ruderal plant development by creating a differentiated community upstream of dams. Check-dam construction also affected species diversity, with slightly higher values for the Shannon and Simpson indexes at those transects directly influenced by the structure.

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Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: The Science of the total environment
ISSN: 1879-1026
Pages: 776-785

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