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    Designing woody fuel sampling methods that quickly, accurately and efficiently assess biomass at relevant spatial scales requires extensive knowledge of each sampling method's strengths, weaknesses and tradeoffs. In this study, we compared various modifications of three common sampling methods (planar intercept, fixed-area microplot and photoload) for estimating fine woody surface fuel components (1-, 10-, 100-h fuels) using artificial fuelbeds of known fuel loadings as reference. Two modifications of the sampling methods were used: (1) measuring diameters only and both diameters and lengths and (2) measuring diameters to (a) the nearest 1.0 mm, (b) traditional size classes (1 h=0-6 mm, 10 h=6-25 mm, 100 h=25-76 mm), (c) 1-cm diameter classes and (d) 2-cm classes. We statistically compared differences in sampled biomass values to the reference loading and found that (1) fixed-area microplot techniques were slightly more accurate than the others, (2) the most accurate loading estimates were when fuel particle diameters were measured and not estimated to a diameter class, (3) measuring particle lengths did not improve estimation accuracy, (4) photoload methods performed poorly under high fuel loads and (5) accurate estimate of fuel biomass requires intensive sampling for both planar intercept and fixed-area microplot methods.

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    Keane, Robert E.; Gray, Kathy. 2013. Comparing three sampling techniques for estimating fine woody down dead biomass. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 22: 1093-1107.


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    fixed-area plot, fuel inventory, fuel loading, line intersect, monitoring, photoload, planar intercept

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