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Creating a fuels baseline and establishing fire frequency relationships to develop a landscape management strategy at the Savannah River Site

Author(s):

Year:

2006

Publication type:

Proceedings (P)

Primary Station(s):

Rocky Mountain Research Station

Source:

In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. 2006. Fuels Management-How to Measure Success: Conference Proceedings. 28-30 March 2006; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 351-366

Description

The Savannah River Site is a Department of Energy Nuclear Defense Facility and a National Environmental Research Park located in the upper coastal plain of South Carolina. Prescribed burning is conducted on 15,000 to 20,000 ac annually. We modified standard forest inventory methods to incorporate a complete assessment of fuel components on 622 plots, assessing coarse woody debris, ladder fuels, and the litter and duff layers. Because of deficiencies in south-wide data on litter-duff bulk densities, which are the fuels most often consumed in prescribed fires, we developed new bulk density relationships. Total surface fuel loading across the landscape ranged from 0.8 to 48.7 tons/ac. The variables basal area, stand age, and site index were important in accounting for variability in ladder fuel, coarse woody debris, and litter-duff for pine types. For a given pine stand condition, litter-duff loading decreased in direct proportion to the number of burns in the preceding thirty years. Ladder fuels for loblolly and longleaf increased in direct proportion to the years since the last prescribed burn. The pattern of fuel loading on the SRS reflects stand dynamics, stand management and fire management. It is suggested that the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program can easily modify sampling protocols to incorporate collection of fuels data.

Citation

Parresol, Bernard R.; Shea, Dan; Ottmar, Roger. 2006. Creating a fuels baseline and establishing fire frequency relationships to develop a landscape management strategy at the Savannah River Site. In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. 2006. Fuels Management-How to Measure Success: Conference Proceedings. 28-30 March 2006; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 351-366

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/25961