Pyrowater - Wildfire effects on biogeochemistry of soil and surface water (completed)

Pyrowater focuses on major chemical and biological effects of wildfire in aquatic ecosystems.


Project Leader: Prof. Espen Lydersen, HiT

After the fire in Froland, Aust-Agder County, in June 2008

About the project

Knowledge on aquatic effects of wildfire is important, because little data exist and increased frequency of wildfire is expected as a consequence of climate change.

Pyrowater will focusing on major chemical and biological effects of wildfire in aquatic ecosystems. 3 catchment affected by wildfire, 3 affected by both wildfire and salvage logging, and 3 control catchments will be incorprated. The field work will be conducted in the large wildfired area in Froland, Aust-Agder County, where 2600 ha burned in June 2008.

Main topics

Main topics to be studied:

  • Short end long term changes in major chemical compounds in soilwater, stream and lake water, including changes in critical loads.
  • Qualittative and quantitative changes in PAH by distance from the fire, based on a regional survey on PAH in soil, sediment and fish (PAH metabolites in bile).
  • Variations in stable sulphure isotope ratio (d34S) in precipitation, soil- and stream-water, from base flow and during high flow periods, in order to improve the knowledge about temporary variations in sinks and sources of SO42- in acidified ecosystems.
  • Qualitative and quantitative changes in phyto- and zoo-plankton in lakes caused by changes in essential nutrients (base cations, N, P, S and C)
  • Changes in accumulation of PAH and Hg in fish as enhanced productivity and restructured aquatic food web are expected consequences of wildfire. Stable isotope analyses of carbon (d13C) and nitrogen (d15N) will be included.
  • Evaluate the miRNA technique as a new tool to reveal internal biological/genetic response mechanisms related to specific environmental pressures, as acid, Al rich water. A pilotstudy will be implemented on brown trout under laboratory conditions. If success, similar analyses will be performed on wild fish from the fired area.


- An RCN funded project under the SHP program with Telemark University College (HiT)


Telemark University College will lead the project and UMB-IPM, UiO-Bio and –Chemistry, UiA, NIVA and IFE will participate.

Published Dec. 16, 2010 3:37 PM - Last modified Mar. 24, 2020 9:34 AM


Professor Rolf D. Vogt

Prof. Espen Lydersen HiT, Prosjektleader


  • Rolf David Vogt
  • Tom Andersen
  • Dag Olav Hessen
  • Prof. Espen Lydersen HiT
  • Jan Mulder UmB
  • Dag O. Andersen UiO-Bio
  • Rolf Høgberget NIVA
  • Ingar Johansen IFE
Detailed list of participants