Forestry management is crucial in mitigating erosion processes after extensive fires in Mediterranean woodlands. Fire alters forest ecosystems, causing an increase in rates of geomorphic processes. The September 1989 fire in Mt. Carmel covered an area of 4 km2 in the main recreation area of a typical Mediterranean forest area. Six experimental plots, covering an area of 400-500 m2 each, were established in order to determine the effect of forestry management practice on soil erosion after the fire; runoff and sediments were collected during and after each rainstorm. Rainfall was measured by two recorders and several rain gauges at the study site. During the first year following the fire, sediment yield was 100-500 times higher than on vegetated slopes. Sediment movement was increased mainly by the lack of vegetation. Results show that there is a clear trend of decrease in sediment yield between the first year and the next five. After this period the burnt areas recovered to similar rates of erosion as in the unburnt areas. The clearings of burnt logs by machine and cable sliding increased the sediment yield in the experimental plots. After vegetation development in the second season following the fire, no significant differences were found among the types of management practice plots.
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