Soil water repellency (SWR) is a phenomenon that occurs when the soil particles are unable or hard to be moistened by water. It refers to the inability of water to wet or infiltrate a dry soil, and this phenomenon has been documented in a wide range of vegetation types and climates, especially in soil affected by wildfire. SWR is affected by biotic and abiotic factors, such as water, temperature, alternation of dry and wet seasons, soil texture, vegetation type, etc. Fire disturbance is one of the important factors influencing the SWR of forest ecological system. It enhances the SWR of the forest soil, reducing the permeability and intercept body and increasing the surface runoff and soil erosion. Numerous studies have suggested that SWR is the primary cause of reduced infiltration rates of soils after burning. In order to understand the frontier of research in the field, this paper summarizes the effects of fire disturbance on SWR. Based on the recent achievements, the historical development of the issue was reviewed briefly. Meanwhile, its physical mechanism, influencing factors, as well as its potential effects on eco-hydrological processes before and after the fire, are discussed. The main aims of the future studies on this issue are also pointed out. The runoff and soil erosion increased significantly after forest fire, but it is difficult to predict the quantitative influence of SWR on runoff and erosion after the fire. Therefore, studying the effect of SWR of different scales and natural rainfall after the fire experiments on surface runoff and soil erosion and long-term observation are recommended as the future research direction and emphasis.
Acta Ecologica Sinica
soil water repellency