This experiment seeks to further expand modern understanding of post-fire ecology via systematic measurement of soil respiration within areas burned by cool, mild flames and hot, intense flames caused by the recent Woolsey Fire. We theorized that within hot burned areas, soil respiration would be less than that of the cool burned areas because the microbe population in the hot burned areas would be affected far more than those subjected to a cool burn. By measuring soil respiration with our Li-6800 CO2 soil flux chamber at each of the according disc sites within hot and cold burned areas we were able to find a significant difference in the average soil flux of the two alternatively incinerated areas, specifically that the flux values were higher in cool burned area. Additionally, we observed significant evidence that over the course of one week soil flux rates increased in hot burned areas and decreased in cool burned areas. The collected data shows an indirect correlation between the intensity of fire experienced in an area and the diversity of microbes currently able to survive in these locations after being affected by the Woolsey Fire.
Cheong, Sophia; Grissom, Alexander G.; and Lank, Grace K., "Carbon Dioxide Flux Rate for Cold Burn and Hot Burn Sites" (2019). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 158.