A novel approach to fuel biomass sampling for 3D fuel characterization
|Authors:||Christie M. Hawley, E. Louise Loudermilk, Eric M. Rowell, Scott Pokswinski|
|Station:||Southern Research Station|
Surface fuels are the critical link between structure and function in frequently burned pine ecosystems, which are found globally (Williamson and Black,1981; Rebertus et al.,1989; Glitzenstein et al.,1995) [1–3]. We bring fuels to the forefront of fire ecology through the concept of the Ecology of Fuels (Hiers et al. 2009) . This concept describes a cyclic process between fuels, fire behavior, and fire effects, which ultimately affect future fuel distribution (Mitchell et al. 2009) . Low-intensity surface fires are driven by the variability in fine-scale (sub-m level) fuels (Loudermilk et al. 2012) . Traditional fuel measurement approaches do not capture this variability because they are over-generalized, and do not consider the fine-scale architecture of interwoven fuel types. Here, we introduce a new approach, the “3D fuels sampling protocol” that measures fuel biomass at the scale and dimensions useful for characterizing heterogeneous fuels found in low-intensity surface fire regimes.