Skip to Main Content
Linking complex forest fuel structure and fire behavior at fine scalesAuthor(s): EL Loudermilk; Joseph O'Brien; RJ Mitchell; JK Hiers; WP Cropper; S Grunwald; J Grego; J Fernandez
Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Southern Research Station
Download Publication (523.35 KB)
DescriptionImproved fire management of savannas and open woodlands requires better understanding of the fundamental connection between fuel heterogeneity, variation in fire behaviour and the influence of fire variation on vegetation feedbacks. In this study, we introduce a novel approach to predicting fire behaviour at the submetre scale, including measurements of forest understorey fuels using ground-based LIDAR (light detection and ranging) coupled with infrared thermography for recording precise fire temperatures. We used ensemble classification and regression trees to examine the relationships between fuel characteristics and fire temperature dynamics. Fire behaviour was best predicted by characterising fuelbed heterogeneity and continuity across multiple plots of similar fire intensity, where impacts from plot-to-plot variation in fuel, fire and weather did not overwhelm the effects of fuels. The individual plot-level results revealed the significance of specific fuel types (e.g. bare soil, pine leaf litter) as well as the spatial configuration of fire. This was the first known study to link the importance of fuelbed continuity and the heterogeneity associated with fuel types to fire behaviour at metre to submetre scales and provides the next step in understanding the complex responses of vegetation to fire behaviour.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationLoudermilk, E.L., O’Brien, J.J., Mitchell, R.J., Hiers, J.K., Cropper Jr., W.P., Grunwald, S, Grego, J., Fernandez, J. 2012. Linking complex forest fuel structure and fire behavior at fine scales. International Journal of Wildland Fire 21: 882–893.
Keywordsfuel heterogeneity, IR imagery, LIDAR, longleaf pine, regression tree, savanna
- High-resolution observations of combustion in heterogeneous surface fuels
- Ground-based LIDAR: a novel approach to quantify fine-scale fuelbed characteristics
- Application of ground-based LIDAR for fine-scale forest fuel modeling
XML: View XML