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    Author(s): J. Kevin Hiers; Joseph J. O’Brien; R. J. Mitchell; John M. Grego; E. Louise Loudermilk
    Date: 2009
    Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire18: 315–325
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1021.71 KB)


    In ecosystems with frequent surface fire regimes, fire and fuel heterogeneity has been largely overlooked
    owing to the lack of unburned patches and the difficulty in measuring fire behavior at fine scales (0.1–10 m). The diverse
    vegetation in these ecosystems varies at these fine scales. This diversity could be driven by the influences of local
    interactions among patches of understorey vegetation and canopy-supplied fine fuels on fire behavior, yet no method we
    know of can capture fine-scale fuel and fire measurements such that these relationships could be rigorously tested. We
    present here an original method for inventorying of fine-scale fuels and
    pine forests of the south-eastern USA. Using ground-based LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) with traditional fuel
    inventory approaches, we characterized within-fuel bed variation into discrete patches, termed wildland fuel cells, which
    had distinct fuel composition, characteristics, and architecture that became spatially independent beyond 0.5m
    explicit fire behavior was measured
    residence times varied at similar scales to those observed for wildland fuel cells. The wildland fuels cell concept could
    seamlessly connect empirical studies with numerical models or cellular automata models of fire behavior, representing a
    promising means to better predict within-burn heterogeneity and fire effects.

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    Hiers, J. Kevin; O’Brien, Joseph J.; Mitchell, R. J.; Grego, John M.; Loudermilk, E. Louise. 2009. The wildland fuel cell concept: an approach to characterize fine-scale variation in fuels and fire in frequently burned longleaf pine forests. International Journal of Wildland Fire18: 315–325.


    fire behavior, fire effects, fuel heterogeneity, Pinus palustris, prescribed fire.

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