Effect of forest fire on changes in the content of total and available forms of selected heavy metals and catalase activity in soil

Open access


The aim of the paper was to assess the effect of forest fire on the content of total and available forms of zinc, copper, lead, nickel and cadmium, as well as the activity of catalase in soil. The study was performed directly (2012) and a year after the fire (2013). The fire had a significant effect on the content of those heavy metals in surface horizons, however, it did not result in their rapid growth. The concentrations of total forms of metals did not exceed the norms provided for in Regulation of the Polish Minister of the Environment. The soil samples analysed can be considered unpolluted with those metals. The availability coefficients calculated showed an unfavourable higher availability of lead and cadmium over zinc and copper. The statistical analysis showed a significant effect of fire on the activity of catalase. Resistance of soil (RS) for catalase demonstrated lower values in the year 2012 as compared with 2013 (except for B soil). The calculated values of time index (TI) pointed to the activation of the enzyme a year after the fire. The Ward clustering method facilitated determining similarities between the sites in two research years (2012 and 2013) with the selected soil parameters. With the PCA method a negative effect of fire was identified.


  • Aref I.M., Atta H.A., Ghamade A.R., 2011. Effect of forest fires on tree diversity and some soil properties. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology 13: 659–664.

  • Bogacz A., Łabaz B., Woźniczka P., 2013. Impact of fire on values of organic material transformation indicators. Roczniki Gleboznawcze – Soil Science Annual 64(3): 88–92. DOI: 10.2478/ssa-2013-0013.

  • Bogacz A., Woźniczka P., Łabaz B., 2011. Concentration and pools of heavy metals in organic soils in post-fire areas used as forests and meadows. Journal of Elementology 16(4): 515–524. DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2011.16.4.01.

  • Borowik A., Wyszkowska J., Kucharski, J., Baćmaga M., Boros-Lajszner E., Tomkiel M., 2014. Sensitivity of soil enzymes to excessive zinc concentrations. Journal of Elementology 19(3): 637–648.

  • Brais S., David P., Quimer R., 2000. Impacts of wild fire severity and salvage harvesting on the nutrient balance of jack pine and black spruce boreal stands. Forest Ecology and Management 137(1): 231–243.

  • Brzezińska M., 2006. Impact of treated wastewater on biological activity and accompanying processes in organic soils. Acta Agrophysica, Rozprawy i Monografie 2(131): 1–164.

  • Carter M.C., Foster C.L., 2004. Prescribed burning and productivity in southern pine forest: a review. Forest Ecology and Management 191(1): 93–109.

  • Certini G., 2005. Effect of fire on properties of soil – A review. Oecologia 143(1): 1–10.

  • Chaer G., Fernandes M., Myrold D., Bottomley P., 2009. Comparative resistance and resilience of soil microbial communities and enzyme activities in adjacent native forest and agricultural soils. Microbial Ecology 58(2): 414–424.

  • Clark B., 2001. Soils, water, and watersheds. [In:] Fire Effects Guide. National Interagency Fire Center 2394: 93–109.

  • Crock J.G., Severson R., 1980. Four reference soil and rock samples for measuring element availability in the western energy regions. Geochemical Survey Circular 841: 1–16.

  • DeBano L.F., 2000. The role of fire and soil heating on water repellency in wild and environments: a review. Journal Hydrology 231: 195–206.

  • Diatta J., Grzebisz W., Frąckowiak-Pawlak K., Andrzejewska A., Brzykcy M., 2014. Site-specific evaluation of Cu, Zn, Fe and Mn availability in arable soil. Zemdirbyste-Agriculture 101(3): 235–242. DOI: 10.13080/z-a.2014.101.030.

  • Dz.U. No.165 item 1359. 2002. Regulation of the Minister of Environment dated 9 September 2002 on standards of soil quality and land quality standards (in Polish).

  • Dz.U. item. 1395. 2016. Regulation of the Minister of the Environment dated 1 September 2016 on assessment procedures for the land surface pollution (in Polish).

  • Ekinci H., 2006. Effect of forest fire on some physical, chemical and biological properties of soil in Çanakkale, Turkey. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology 8(1): 102–106.

  • Gömöryová E., Střelcová K., Škvarenina J., Bebej J., Gömöry D., 2008. The impact of windthrow and fire disturbances on selected soil properties in the Tatra National Park Soil Water Research 3(1): 74–80.

  • Gonet S.S., Dziadowiec H., Bućko M., 2009. Profile morphology, chemical properties and organic matter stocks in soils after pine forest fire. Roczniki Gleboznawcze – Soil Science Annual 60(2): 32–38.

  • García-Marco S., González-Prieto S., 2008. Short- and medium-term effects of fire and firefighting chemicals on soil micro-nutrient availability. Science of the Total Environment 407(1): 297–303.

  • Hamman S.T., Burke I.C., Knapp E.E., 2008. Soil nutrients and microbial activity after early and late season prescribed burns in a Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest. Forest Ecology and Management 256(3): 367–374. DOI:10.1016/j.foreco.2008.04.030

  • Iglesias T., Cala V., Gonzales J., 1997. Mineralogical and chemical modifications in soils affected by a forest lire in the Mediterranean area. Science of the Total Environment 204(1): 89–96.

  • Januszek K., Lasota J., Gruba P., Domicz G., 2001. Właściwości fizyczno-chemiczne i biochemiczne gleb bielicowych sześć lat po pożarze całkowitym lasu. Acta Agraria et Silvestria series Silvestris 39: 47–61 (in Polish).

  • Johnson J.I., Temple K.L., 1964. Some variables affecting the measurements of catalase activity in soil. Soil Science Society of America Journal 28(2): 207–216.

  • Korzeniowska J., Stanisławska-Glubiak E., 2003. Phytotoxic concentration of some heavy metals in soil. Advances of Agricultural Sciences Problem Issues 493: 167–173.

  • Lemanowicz J., Bartkowiak A., 2015. Effect of scots pine forest fire of carbon, phosphorus and phosphatases activity in soil. Baltic Forestry 21(2): 369–374.

  • Lemanowicz J., Krzyżaniak M., 2015. Vertical distribution of phosphorus concentrations, phosphatase activity and further soil chemical properties in salt-affected Mollic Gleysols in Poland. Environmental Earth Science 74(3): 2719–2728. DOI: 10.1007/s12665-015-4294-x.

  • Miesel J.R., Goebel P.C., Corace R.G., Hix D.M., Kolka R., Palik B., Mladenoff D., 2012. Fire effects on soils in Lake States Forests: A Compilation of published research to facilitate long-term investigations. Forests 3(4): 1034–1070. DOI:10.3390/f3041034

  • Mitic V.D., Stancov Jovanovic V.P., Ilic M.D., Nicolic Mandic S.D., 2015. Impact of wildfire on soil characteristics on some metal content in selected plants species of Geraniaceae family. Environmental Earth Sciences 73(8): 4581–4594. DOI: 10.1007/s12665-014-3744-1.

  • Obrador A., Alvarez J.M., Lopez-Valdivia L.M., Gonzalez D., Novillo J., Rico M.I., 2007. Relationships of soil properties with Mn and Zn distribution in acidic soils and their uptake by a barley crop. Geoderma 137(3–4): 432–443. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2006.10.001.

  • Olszowska G., 2009. Enzyme activity of soils after large-scale fires under varying habitat conditions using different methods of forest regeneration. Forest Research Papers 70(2): 183–188. DOI:10.2478/v10111-009-0018-x.

  • Orwin K.H., Wardle D.A., 2004. New indices for quantifying the resistance and resilience of soil biota to exogenous disturbances. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 36(11): 1907–1912. DOI:10.1016/j.soilbio.2004.04.036.

  • PN-ISP 10381-2:2007P. 2007. Soil quality – Sampling – Part 2: Guidance on sampling techniques.

  • Prędecka A., Chojnicki J., Russel S., 2010. The effect of spring grass burning on the bacteria count and the soil dehydrogenases activity. Science Nature Technologies 4(6): 93.

  • Schafer J.L., Mack M.C., 2010. Short-term effects of fire on soil and plant nutrients. Plant Soil 334(1–2): 433–447.

  • Stancov Janovic V.P., Ilic M.D., Marcovic M.S., Mitic V.D., Nikolic Mondic S.D., Stojanovic G.S., 2011. Wild fire impact on copper, zinc, lead and cadmium distribution in soil and relation with abundance in selected plants of Lamiaceae family from Vidlic Mountain (Serbia). Chemosphere 84(11): 1584–1591. DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.05048.

  • Verma S., Jayakumar S., 2012. Impact of forest fire on physical, chemical and biological properties of soil: A review. Proceedings of the International Academy of Ecology and Environmental Sciences 2(3): 168–176.

  • Wang B., Xue S., Liu G.B., Li G., Ren Z.P., 2012. Changes in soil nutrient and enzyme activities under different vegetations in the Loess Plateau area, Northwest China. Catena 92: 186–195.

  • Ward J.H., 1963. Hierarchical grouping to optimize an objective function. Journal American Statistical Association 58(301): 236–244.

Soil Science Annual

formerly Roczniki Gleboznawcze

Journal Information

Index Copernicus Value- 93.69 pkt


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 5 5 5
PDF Downloads 1 1 1