Irenus Tazisong, Thilini Ranatunga and Zachary Senwo, Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL
Prescribed burning and thinning is used to maintain fire dependent species, improve wildlife habitat, and preparing areas for forest regeneration after timber harvest. Fire is a powerful and instantaneous modifier of the environment, and potentially has a profound long-term influence on nutrients cycles in ecosystems by changing the form, distribution and amount of nutrients as well as species composition and processes. We assessed the effect of low intensity burning and thinning on microbial indices (microbial biomass carbon, microbial respiration, microbial biomass nitrogen, enzymes activities, and adenosine triphosphate). Preliminary results show that low intensity fire and thinning alter soil microbial indices, but not significantly. The soil physical and chemical properties were also altered as a result of this management practice.