We used radiocarbon dating of the organic soil surface remaining post-fire to examine whether the fire burned into ancient and likely irreplaceable soil C pools. Suprisingly, it did not; all radiocarbon dates from burned soil surfaces contained bomb carbon, setting the maximum age of the burned soil surfaces at ~50 years.
This file contains the soil profile data for burned and unburned moist acidic tundra sites used to estimate C and N loss from the Anaktuvuk River Fire (2007). These sites were sampled in summer of 2008. Unburned sites were used to develop a method for estimating soil organic layer depth and plant biomass, and for determining the characteristics of unburned soil organic layers. In burned sites, we characterized residual organic soils and used biometric measurements of tussocks to reconstruct pre-fire soil organic layer depth.
Estimated mean pre-fire C and N pools, and C and N loss from 20 sites in the Anaktuvuk River Fire (2007). These sites were sampled in summer of 2008. In each site, we characterized residual organic soils and used biometric relationships developed in unburned sites to reconstruct pre-fire soil organic layer depth, and plant and soil C and N pools. We then estimated fire-driven losses of C and N from plant and soil organic layer pools.
The original focus of this study was an analysis of proteolytic enzyme activity of Alaskan arctic tundra soils, however initial results raised questions regarding the method (Watanabe and Hayano, 1995). Thus, the goals of the study changed to 1) an investigation of the method, and 2) a comparison of enzyme activities of two different soil layers from the arctic tundra.