CIF Lourizan

The practices carried out in the CIF Lourizan were focused on the evaluation of the effects of wildfires of different severity on forest ecosystems (soil-plant systems) as well as to study the implementation of different emergence rehabilitation techniques (seeding and mulching): their efficacy to control post-fire erosion as well as their effects on soil quality.

The students participated in different studies under field conditions in experimental areas affected by fires of different level of severity: wildfires and prescribed or experimental fires and the results of numerous soil burnt properties and vegetation cover as well as the erosion were measured and compared with the corresponding unburnt control soils. The students understood that wildfire effects and the recovery of soil-plant system are variable depending mainly on fire severity. With respect to post-fire stabilization treatments, the students learned that that the straw mulch was the most effective emergence treatment to control post-fire erosion since they reduce soil losses around 70-90% and have no effects on soil quality. Based in this information, the students should predict if the ecosystem will have any chance to recover by means of natural mechanisms, such natural vegetation. They students should be introduced in the techniques usually employed to avoid soil degradation. It is important to understand that the application of these techniques is usually costly and require of a previous planning.