Journal of Environmental Management, vol.320, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2022 Elsevier LtdWildfire is a key ecological event that alters vegetation and soil quality attributes including biochemical attributes at spatial scale. This knowledge can provide insights into the development of better rehabilitation or restoration strategies that depend on the ecological dynamics of vegetation, fungi, and animals. The present study aimed to understand the causes and consequences of spatial variability of soil organic carbon, microbial biomass C concentrations, and soil quality indices as impacted by wildfire in a red pine forest. This study was conducted using kriging and inverse distance neighborhood similarity (IDW) interpolations methods. The carbon stocks were significantly (P = 0.002) higher in burned areas compared to those of unburned areas by 255% whereas microbial biomass carbon and microbial respiration were significantly (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.02) lower in burned areas by 66% and 90%, The Pearson's correlation analysis showed that carbon stocks were positively correlated with pH (0.61), total nitrogen (0.60) and ash quantity (0.41), but negatively correlated with microbial biomass carbon (−0.46) and nitrogen (−0.61), and microbial respiration (−0.48). The IDW interpolation method better-predicted pH, bulk density, and microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen compared to kriging interpolation, whereas the kriging interpolation method was better than IDW interpolation for the other studied soil properties. We concluded that pH, EC, SOC, C/N, MR, MBC/SOC, and MBC/MBN can be reliable indicators to monitor the effect of wildfire on forest soils. The wildfire event increased soil carbon stocks, TN, pH, and qCO2, but decreased MBC and MBN.