Fire and the Nitrogen Cycle in California Chaparral

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Science  06 Jul 1973:
Vol. 181, Issue 4094, pp. 66-68
DOI: 10.1126/science.181.4094.66


Analysis of soils from burned and unburned chaparral indicates that high nitrate concentrations following fire are due to the addition of ammonium and organic nitrogen in the ash. Inhibition of mineralization in unburned chaparral results in low nitrate concentrations. Fluctuations in the amount of soil nitrate in unburned chaparral are the direct result of foliar leaching.