iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Post-fire soil hydrology, water erosion and restoration strategies in Andosols: a review of evidence from the Canary Islands (Spain)

Jonay Neris (1-2)   , Juan C Santamarta (3), Stefan H Doerr (1), Francisco Prieto (4), Juan Agulló-Pérez (5), Paloma García-Villegas (5)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 4, Pages 583-592 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1605-008
Published: Mar 17, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Review Papers

Andosols are the most characteristic soils of volcanic regions such as the forested, fire-prone, hillslopes of the mountainous Canary Islands (Spain). Due to their volcanic nature, these soils have traditionally been considered highly resistant to water erosion processes in undisturbed conditions, but are also highly susceptible to environmental disturbances. In addition, volcanic terrains often underlie heavily-populated, steep areas where torrential rains are frequent, increasing the threat to the population and infrastructures down-slope. Numerous hydrological and erosional catastrophic events in disturbed Andosols in the Canary Islands and worldwide, leading to major losses to lives and properties, have been historically and recently reported. The impact of environmental alterations such as land use change on hydrological and erosional response of Andosols has been widely studied in the Canary Islands and worldwide. However, the effect on this soil type of wildfires, generally considered one of the main geomorphological agents, and historically connected to the forested fire-prone Andosols of the islands, has had scant attention to date. This review seeks to redress this knowledge gap by: (i) evaluating the factors affecting the susceptibility of Andosols to catastrophic hydrological and erosional events; (ii) summarizing the published studies on the impact of fire and the post-fire response of this soil type and the specific restoration measures developed to date; and (iii) identifying research gaps and suggesting new lines of investigation in order to reduce the hydrological and erosional risks in these particular terrains.


Volcanic Ash Soils, Wildfires, Catastrophic Events, Disaster Risk Reduction, Erosion Mitigation, Post-fire Restoration

Authors’ address

Jonay Neris
Stefan H Doerr
Swansea University, Dept. of Geography, College of Science, Swansea SA2 8PP, West Glamorgan (UK)
Jonay Neris
Dpto. Biología Animal y Edafología y Geología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de La Laguna, Av. Astrofísico Fco. Sánchez s/n, 38071 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain)
Juan C Santamarta
Dpto. Ingeniería de la Producción y Economía Agraria, Universidad de La Laguna, Carretera General de Geneto 2, 38071 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain)
Francisco Prieto
Servicio de Medio Ambiente, Seguridad y Emergencias del Cabildo Insular de La Palma, Av. de los Indianos 20, 38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma (Spain)
Juan Agulló-Pérez
Paloma García-Villegas
Servicio Técnico de Planificación y Proyectos Forestales del Cabildo Insular de Tenerife, C/ Las Macetas sn, Pabellón Santiago Martín, 38108 La Laguna (Spain)

Corresponding author

Jonay Neris


Neris J, Santamarta JC, Doerr SH, Prieto F, Agulló-Pérez J, García-Villegas P (2016). Post-fire soil hydrology, water erosion and restoration strategies in Andosols: a review of evidence from the Canary Islands (Spain). iForest 9: 583-592. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1605-008

Academic Editor

Davide Ascoli

Paper history

Received: Feb 17, 2015
Accepted: Nov 30, 2015

First online: Mar 17, 2016
Publication Date: Aug 09, 2016
Publication Time: 3.60 months

Breakdown by View Type

(Waiting for server response...)

Article Usage

Total Article Views: 43174
(from publication date up to now)

Breakdown by View Type
HTML Page Views: 34824
Abstract Page Views: 2612
PDF Downloads: 4577
Citation/Reference Downloads: 37
XML Downloads: 1124

Web Metrics
Days since publication: 2993
Overall contacts: 43174
Avg. contacts per week: 100.97

Article Citations

Article citations are based on data periodically collected from the Clarivate Web of Science web site
(last update: Feb 2023)

Total number of cites (since 2016): 7
Average cites per year: 0.88


Publication Metrics

by Dimensions ©

Articles citing this article

List of the papers citing this article based on CrossRef Cited-by.

Ahn Y-S, Otsuki K, Ryu S-R, Chun K-W, An K-W, Lee K-H, Choi H-T, Mizugaki S, Seo J-I (2013)
Surface erosion control by contour-felled log erosion barriers in post fire areas in eastern coastal regions of the republic of korea. Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture Kyushu University 58 (2): 389-394.
Are KS, Oluwatosin GA, Adeyolanu OD, Oke AO (2009)
Slash and burn effect on soil quality of an Alfisol: soil physical properties. Soil and Tillage Research 103 (1): 4-10.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Aristeidis K, Vasiliki K (2015)
Evaluation of the post-fire erosion and flood control works in the area of cassandra (Chalkidiki, north Greece). Journal of Forestry Research 26 (1): 209-217.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Badia-Villas D, Gonzalez-Perez JA, Aznar JM, Arjona-Gracia B, Marti-Dalmau C (2014)
Changes in water repellency, aggregation and organic matter of a mollic horizon burned in laboratory: Soil depth affected by fire. Geoderma 213: 400-407.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Badia D, Sanchez C, Aznar JM, Marti C (2015)
Post-fire hillslope log debris dams for runoff and erosion mitigation in the semiarid ebro basin. Geoderma 237: 298-307.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Barreto P (1979)
Los Llanos de Aridane sin agua potable [Los Llanos de Aridane without potable water]. In: “Diario de Avisos”, vol. 27.01. 1979, Tenerife, Spain, pp. 27.
Benavides-Solorio J, MacDonald LH (2001)
Post-fire runoff and erosion from simulated rainfall on small plots, Colorado Front Range. Hydrological Processes 15 (15): 2931-2952.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Bryant R, Doerr SH, Helbig M (2005)
Effect of oxygen deprivation on soil hydrophobicity during heating. International Journal of Wildland Fire 14 (4): 449-455.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Buytaert W, Deckers J, Dercon G, De Bievre B, Poesen J, Govers G (2002)
Impact of land use changes on the hydrological properties of volcanic ash soils in south Ecuador. Soil Use and Management 18 (2): 94-100.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Buytaert W, Wyseure G, De Bievre B, Deckers J (2005)
The effect of land-use changes on the hydrological behaviour of histic Andosols in south Ecuador. Hydrological Processes 19 (20): 3985-3997.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Campo J, Gimeno-Garcia E, Andreu V, Gonzalez-Pelayo O, Rubio JL (2008)
Aggregation of under canopy and bare soils in a Mediterranean environment affected by different fire intensities. Catena 74 (3): 212-218.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Candan F, Broquen P (2009)
Aggregate stability and related properties in NW Patagonian Andisols. Geoderma 154 (1-2): 42-47.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Capra L, Lugo-Hubp J, Borselli L (2003)
Mass movements in tropical volcanic terrains: The case of Teziutlán (México). Engineering Geology 69(3-4): 359-379.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Cerdà A, Doerr SH (2008)
The effect of ash and needle cover on surface runoff and erosion in the immediate post-fire period. Catena 74 (3): 256-263.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Cerdà A, Imeson AC, Calvo A (1995)
Fire and aspect induced differences on the erodibility and hydrology of soils at La-Costera, Valencia, southeast Spain. Catena 24 (4): 289-304.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Certini G, Nocentini C, Knicker H, Arfaioli P, Rumpel C (2011)
Wildfire effects on soil organic matter quantity and quality in two fire-prone Mediterranean pine forests. Geoderma 167- 68: 148-155.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Climent J, Tapias R, Pardos JA, Gil L (2004)
Fire adaptations in the Canary islands pine (Pinus canariensis). Plant Ecology 171 (1-2): 185-196.
CrossRef | Gscholar
De La Rosa JM, Gonzalez-Perez JA, Gonzalez-Vila FJ, Knicker H (2013)
Medium term effects of fire induced soil organic matter alterations on Andosols under canarian pine (Pinus canariensis). Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis 104: 269-279.
CrossRef | Gscholar
DeBano LF, Savage SM, Hamilton DA (1976)
Transfer of heat and hydrophobic substances during burning. Soil Science Society of America Journal 40 (5): 779-782.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Doerr SH, Blake WH, Shakesby RA, Stagnitti F, Vuurens SH, Humphreys GS, Wallbrink P (2004)
Heating effects on water repellency in Australian eucalypt forest soils and their value in estimating wildfire soil temperatures. International Journal of Wildland Fire 13 (2): 157-163.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Doerr SH, Shakesby RA, Blake WH, Chafer CJ, Humphreys GS, Wallbrink PJ (2006)
Effects of differing wildfire severities on soil wettability and implications for hydrological response. Journal of Hydrology 319(1-4): 295-311.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Doerr SH, Shakesby RA, Walsh RPD (2000)
Soil water repellency: its causes, characteristics and hydro-geomorphological significance. Earth-Science Reviews 51 (1-4): 33-65.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Dorner J, Dec D, Peng X, Horn R (2009)
Change of shrinkage behavior of an Andisol in southern Chile: effects of land use and wetting/drying cycles. Soil and Tillage Research 106 (1): 45-53.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Dorner J, Dec D, Peng X, Horn R (2010)
Effect of land use change on the dynamic behaviour of structural properties of an Andisol in southern Chile under saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conditions. Geoderma 159(1-2): 189-197.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Driessen P, Deckers J, Spaargaren O, Nachtergaele F (2001)
Lecture notes on the major soils of the world. FAO, Rome, Italy, pp. 52.
Fernández C, Vega JA, Jimenez E, Fonturbel T (2011)
Effectiveness of three post-fire treatments at reducing soil erosion in Galicia (NW Spain). International Journal of Wildland Fire 20 (1): 104-114.
Online | Gscholar
Ferreira AJD, Alegre SP, Alves Coelho CO, Shakesby RA, Pascoa FM, Santos Ferreira CS, Keizer JJ, Ritsema C (2015)
Strategies to prevent forest fires and techniques to reverse degradation processes in burned areas. Catena 128: 224-237.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Giovannini G, Lucchesi S (1997)
Modifications induced in soil physico-chemical parameters by experimental fires at different intensities. Soil Science 162 (7): 479-486.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Glade T (2003)
Landslide occurrence as a response to land use change: a review of evidence from New Zealand. Catena 51(3-4): 297-314.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Gónzalez-Pérez JA, Gónzalez-Vila FJ, Almendros G, Knicker H (2004)
The effect of fire on soil organic matter - a review. Environment International 30 (6): 855-870.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Hernández-Moreno JM, Tejedor ML, Jiménez CC (2007)
Effects of land use on soil degradation and restoration in the Canary islands. In: “Soils of volcanic regions in Europe” (Arnalds O, Bartoli F, Buurman P, ÓskarsonH, Stoops G, García-Rodeja E eds). Springer, Berlin, Germany, pp. 565-579.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Hoyos N, Comerford NB (2005)
Land use and landscape effects on aggregate stability and total carbon of Andisols from the Colombian Andes. Geoderma 129 (3-4): 268-278.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Imeson AC, Verstraten JM, Vanmulligen EJ, Sevink J (1992)
The effects of fire and water repellency on infiltration and runoff under Mediterranean type forest. Catena 19 (3-4): 345-361.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Instituto Canario de Estadística (2015)
Estadística de incendios forestales en Canarias [Statistics of forest fires in Canary Islands]. Gobierno de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain. [in Spanish]
Online | Gscholar
IUSS Working Group WRB (2014)
World reference base for soil resources 2014. International soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps. FAO, Rome, Italy, pp. 146-147.
Jiménez C, Tejedor M, Morillas G, Neris J (2003)
Infiltration rates in Andisols of the Island of Tenerife (Canary islands, Spain). In: Proceedings of the International Symposium “25 Years of Assessment of Erosion” (Gabriels D, Cornelis WM eds). University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium, pp. 157-158.
Jiménez C, Tejedor M, Morillas G, Neris J (2006)
Infiltration rate in Andisols: effect of changes in vegetation cover (Tenerife, Spain). Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 61 (3): 153-158.
Online | Gscholar
Jordán A, Martínez Zavala L, Nava AL, Alanís N (2009)
Occurrence and hydrological effects of water repellency in different soil and land use types in Mexican volcanic highlands. Catena 79 (1): 60-71.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Jordán A, Martínez Zavala L, Mataix-Solera J, Nava AL, Alanis N (2011)
Effect of fire severity on water repellency and aggregate stability on Mexican volcanic soils. Catena 84 (3): 136-147.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Letey J (2001)
Causes and consequences of fire-induced soil water repellency. Hydrological Processes 15 (15): 2867-2875.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Lopez MV, Gracia R, Arrue JL (2000)
Effects of reduced tillage on soil surface properties affecting wind erosion in semiarid fallow lands of Central Aragon. European Journal of Agronomy 12 (3-4): 191-199.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Lloret F, Vila M (2003)
Diversity patterns of plant functional types in relation to fire regime and previous land use in Mediterranean woodlands. Journal of Vegetation Science 14 (3): 387-398.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Marcos E, Tarrega R, Luis E (2007)
Changes in a humic cambisol heated (100-500 degrees C) under laboratory conditions: the significance of heating time. Geoderma 138 (3-4): 237-243.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Marzol Jaén MV (1988)
La lluvia, un recurso natural para Canarias [Rain, a natural resource for Canary Islands]. Servicio de Publicaciones de la Caja General de Ahorros de Canarias, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, pp. 220.
Mataix-Solera J, Cerdà A, Arcenegui V, Jordán A, Martínez-Zavala L (2011)
Fire effects on soil aggregation: a review. Earth-Science Reviews 109 (1-2): 44-60.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Michels K, Sivakumar MVK, Allison BE (1995)
Wind erosion control using crop residue. 1. Effects on soil flux and soil properties. Field Crops Research 40 (2): 101-110.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino (2008)
Diseño de obras transversales: diques mixtos de mampostería y biomasa residual [Design of channel treatments: rock and biomass mixed dams]. Inventario de Tecnologías Disponibles en España para la Lucha contra la Desertificación, Gobierno de España, Madrid, Spain, pp. 5.
Morales D, Rostagno CM, La Manna L (2013)
Runoff and erosion from volcanic soils affected by fire: the case of Austrocedrus chilensis forests in Patagonia, Argentina. Plant and Soil 370 (1-2): 367-380.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Myronidis DI, Emmanouloudis DA, Mitsopoulos IA, Riggos EE (2010)
Soil erosion potential after fire and rehabilitation treatments in Greece. Environmental Modeling and Assessment 15 (4): 239-250.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Nanzyo M, Shoji S, Dahlgren R (1993)
Physical characteristics of volcanic ash soils. In: “Volcanic Ash Soils: Genesis, Properties and Utilization” (Shoji S, Nanzyo M, Dahlgren R eds). Elsevier Science Publishers BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 288.
Neall VE (2006)
Volcanic soils. In: “Land use and land cover, Encyclopedia of life support systems (EOLSS) Vol. VII” (Verheye W ed). Eolss Publishers/UNESCO, Oxford, UK, pp. 24.
Neris J, Jiménez C, Fuentes J, Morillas G, Tejedor M (2012)
Vegetation and land-use effects on soil properties and water infiltration of Andisols in Tenerife (Canary islands, Spain). Catena 98: 55-62.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Neris J, Tejedor M, Fuentes J, Jiménez C (2013a)
Infiltration, runoff and soil loss in Andisols affected by forest fire (Canary islands, Spain). Hydrological Processes 27 (19): 2814-2824.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Neris J, Tejedor M, Rodríguez M, Fuentes J, Jiménez C (2013b)
Effect of forest floor characteristics on water repellency, infiltration, runoff and soil loss in Andisols of Tenerife (Canary islands, Spain). Catena 108: 50-57.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Neris J, Doerr SH, Tejedor M, Jiménez C, Hernández-Moreno JM (2014)
Thermal analysis as a predictor for hydrological parameters of fire-affected soils. Geoderma 235-236: 240-249.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Notario del Pino JS (2009)
Los incendios forestales en Canarias: una revisión. Causas, particularidades e impactos sobre el suelo [Forest fires in Canary Islands: a review. Causes, characteristics and impacts on soils]. In: “Efectos de los incendios forestales sobre los suelos en España. El estado de la cuestión visto por los científicos españoles” (Cerdà A, Mataix-Solera J eds). Cátedra de divulcagión científica, Universitat de València, Valencia, Spain, pp. 469-489.
O’Dea ME (2007)
Influence of mycotrophy on native and introduced grass regeneration in a semiarid grassland following burning. Restoration Ecology 15 (1): 149-155.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Perrin JL, Bouvier C, Janeau JL, Menez G, Cruz F (2001)
Rainfall/runoff processes in a small peri-urban catchment in the Andes mountains. The Rumihurcu Quebrada, Quito (Ecuador). Hydrological Processes 15 (5): 843-854.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Pierson FB, Moffet CA, Williams CJ, Hardegree SP, Clark PE (2009)
Prescribed-fire effects on rill and interrill runoff and erosion in a mountainous sagebrush landscape. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 34 (2): 193-203.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Pla Sentís I (1997)
A soil water balance model for monitoring soil erosion processes and effects on steep lands in the tropics. Soil Technology 11 (1): 17-30.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Poulenard J, Podwojewski P, Janeau JL, Collinet J (2001)
Runoff and soil erosion under rainfall simulation of Andisols from the Ecuadorian Páramo: Effect of tillage and burning. Catena 45 (3): 185-207.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Raftoyannis Y, Spanos I (2005)
Evaluation of log and branch barriers as post-fire rehabilitation treatments in a Mediterranean pine forest in Greece. International Journal of Wildland Fire 14 (2): 183-188.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Rahman MH, Okubo A, Sugiyama S, Mayland HF (2008)
Physical, chemical and microbiological properties of an Andisol as related to land use and tillage practice. Soil and Tillage Research 101 (1-2): 10-19.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Redacción (1990)
Fuertes precipitaciones en la madrugada de ayer [Heavy rainfall yesterday in the small hours]. In: “Diario de Avisos”. Vol. 02.12.1990, Tenerife, Spain, pp. 20.
Robichaud PR, Ashmun LE, Sims BD (2010)
Post-fire treatment effectiveness for hillslope stabilization. Report 63, Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Fort Collins, CO, USA, pp. 20.
Online | Gscholar
Robichaud PR, Pierson FB, Brown RK, Wagenbrenner JW (2008)
Measuring effectiveness of three postfire hillslope erosion barrier treatments, western Montana, USA. Hydrological Processes 22 (2): 159-170.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Rodríguez AR, Arbelo CD, Guerra JA, Mora JL, Notario JS, Armas CM (2006)
Organic carbon stocks and soil erodibility in Canary islands Andosols. Catena 66 (3): 228-235.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Rodríguez Rodríguez A, Guerra JA, Gorrín SP, Arbelo CD, Mora JL (2002)
Aggregates stability and water erosion in Andosols of the Canary islands. Land Degradation and Development 13 (6): 515-523.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Rulli MC, Bozzi S, Spada M, Bocchiola D, Rosso R (2006)
Rainfall simulations on a fire disturbed Mediterranean area. Journal of Hydrology 327 (3-4): 323-338.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Ryan KC (2002)
Dynamic interactions between forest structure and fire behavior in boreal ecosystems. Silva Fennica 36 (1): 13-39.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Shakesby RA, Doerr SH (2006)
Wildfire as a hydrological and geomorphological agent. Earth-Science Reviews 74 (3-4): 269-307.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Stoof CR, Wesseling JG, Ritsema CJ (2010)
Effects of fire and ash on soil water retention. Geoderma 159(3-4): 276-285.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Tardío Cerrillo G, Caballero Serrano C (2009)
Nuevo elemento para controlar la erosión [New structure to control soil erosion]. In: Proceedings of the “9° Congreso Nacional del Medio Ambiente (CONAMA)”. Madrid (Spain) 1-5 Dec 2008. Fundación CONAMA, Madrid, Spain, pp. 23.
Terefe T, Mariscal-Sancho I, Peregrina F, Espejo R (2008)
Influence of heating on various properties of six Mediterranean soils. A laboratory study. Geoderma 143 (3-4): 273-280.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Varela ME, Benito E, Keizer JJ (2010)
Effects of wildfire and laboratory heating on soil aggregate stability of pine forests in Galicia: the role of lithology, soil organic matter content and water repellency. Catena 83 (2-3): 127-134.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Warkentin BP, Maeda T (1980)
Physical and mechanical characteristics of Andisols. In: “Soils with variable charge” (Theng BKG ed). Offset Publications, Palmerston North, New Zealand, pp. 281-352.
Woignier T, Primera J, Duffours L, Dieudonne P, Raada A (2008)
Preservation of the allophanic soils structure by supercritical drying. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 109 (1-3): 370-375.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Woods SW, Balfour VN (2008)
The effect of ash on runoff and erosion after a severe forest wildfire, Montana, USA. International Journal of Wildland Fire 17 (5): 535-548.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Zobeck TM (1991)
Soil properties affecting wind erosion. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 46 (2): 112-118.
Online | Gscholar

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info