Skip to content
Journal Title Abbrev.
J. Elem.
ISSN – 1644-2296
DOI: 10.5601

Search article

flag flag
Concentration and pools of heavy metals in organic soils in post-fire areas used as forests and meadows

Issue: 4/2011

Recevied: No data

Accepted: Brak danych

Published: 2012-03-13


Bogacz A., Łabaz B., Woźniczka P.

Categories: Horticulture and forestry, Pollution and environment

DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2011.16.4.01


High  concentration   of heavy  metals  in  organic  soils  may  be the  result  of intensive, deep-seated fires  causing  high  temperatures. This   research has been carried  in  four  post-fire  areas,  located  in  forests  or  on meadows  in Lower Silesia. The  aim  has  been to deter- mine  the  impact  of some parameters on the content  of heavy  metals  in  soils  under  post-fire meadows  and  forests.  The concentration  and  pool of the  analyzed   heavy metals  were determined  in  soils against  the  background  of such parameters as  the  depth  in  a  horizon, organic matter  content,  soil  colour and  soil  reaction.   Twenty Histosol  soil  profiles  (85 soil samples)  were analyzed,   representing peat-muck,  muck  (Mtllc1, Mtlllc1)  and mineral-muc- ky  (Me11)  and  on-muck  soils  (according  to  the  Polish   taxonomy of soils).  The  soils  were strongly  desiccated.  Some  physicochemical   and chemical  properties  of pyrogenic  soils  were analyzed   in  dry  samples collected into  plastic   bags  with  an  lnstorfu auger.  Heavy  metals (Zn, Cu, Pb,  Ni,  Cr) were  determined  in  HCl  + HNO3.  Pools of heavy  metals  were recalculated  into g m-2 in 0-20 cm layers  of soils  and  compared among forest  and  meadow  soils. Due  to intensive fires,  the  reaction  of pyrogenic soils  was  slightly acid,  neutral or alkaline. As  a  consequence of the  high temperatures, a  broad  spectrum  of soil  colours  was  noticed. The results  showed  increased  concentrations   of heavy  metals  in  the topmost and muddy soil  horizons.   The  alkaline  soil reaction  favoured accumulation   of heavy  metals.   Pools  of heavy  metals  in soils  were significantly lower in forest  than  in  meadow areas,  which  could be attributed to different  time periods  which  elapsed  since  the  fires.   The  Hue  tint of the colour  of soil horizons  containing  ashes  indicated  the  presence  of oxidized  iron  forms  and a  low  content  of organic  carbon.  The accumulation   of heavy  metals  in  post-fire  sites  in Lower  Silesia was negatively   correlated  with the  soil's  strongly  acid  reaction.  The determined  concentrations  of heavy metals did  not exceed the  threshold values  set  for  unpolluted soils.  


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. J. Elem. 16(4): 515-524.


soil, peat, fire, heavy metals, valley areas, dewatering process.

About issue:

Download article