Effects of forest fires on water sources
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CitationBilgin, A., Aybar, M., & Sağlam, B. (2016). Effects of Forest Fires on Water Sources. Celal Bayar University Journal of Science, 12(2).
Environmental pollution is the most important factor concerning destruction of water, soil and air ecosystems in the world. Water sources are one of the areas mostly affected by environmental pollution. It is required to obtain sustainable and accurate data concerning water quality so that qualifications, areal and temporal change of water sources can be understood. Quality of water sources from water basins consisting of forest lands might deteriorate due to natural disasters, forestry activities and use of forest lands for recreation purposes. Quality of water from forests which are not destructed or deteriorated due to natural disasters is generally quite high. Even though forest fires are favorable for the health of forests in the long term, they affect water quality of streams, lakes and rivers in water basins negatively. Researches reveal that forest fires or incineration of production waste in forests result in increase of chemical element amount on the soil surface. Certain amount of such elements remain dissolved, while others reach water sources through sediments. It is identified that N, P, K, Mg, Na, Ca, Mn, Cl and HCO3 concentrations increase 2 to 100 times in these sources. According to statistical data of the last 25 years, 2070 (on the average) forest fires occured and 11245 ha forest area is burned every year in our country. These forest fires result in pollution of water sources in addition to major environmental effects.