Skip to Main Content
De-coupling seasonal changes in water content and dry matter to predict live conifer foliar moisture contentAuthor(s): W. Matt Jolly; Ann M. Hadlow; Kathleen Huguet
Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire. 23(4): 480-489.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Download Publication (392.25 KB)
DescriptionLive foliar moisture content (LFMC) significantly influences wildland fire behaviour. However, characterising variations in LFMC is difficult because both foliar mass and dry mass can change throughout the season. Here we quantify the seasonal changes in both plant water status and dry matter partitioning. We collected new and old foliar samples from Pinus contorta for two growing seasons and quantified their LFMC, relative water content (RWC) and dry matter chemistry. LFMC quantifies the amount of water per unit fuel dry weight whereas RWC quantifies the amount of water in the fuel relative to how much water the fuel can hold at saturation. RWC is generally a better indicator of water stress than is LFMC. We separated water mass from dry mass for each sample and we attempted to best explain the seasonal variations in each using our measured physiochemical variables. We found thatRWCexplained 59% of variation in foliar water mass. Additionally, foliar starch, sugar and crude fat content explained 87% of the variation in seasonal dry mass changes. These two models combined explained 85% of the seasonal variations in LFMC. These results demonstrate that changes to dry matter exert a stronger control on seasonal LFMC dynamics than actual changes in water content, and they challenge the assumption that LFMC variations are strongly related to water stress. This methodology could be applied across a range of plant functional types to better understand the factors that drive seasonal changes in LFMC and live fuel flammability.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
CitationJolly, W. Matt; Hadlow, Ann M.; Huguet, Kathleen. 2014. De-coupling seasonal changes in water content and dry matter to predict live conifer foliar moisture content. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 23(4): 480-489.
Keywordscarbohydrates, crude fat, model, relative water content
- Spectroscopic analysis of seasonal changes in live fuel moisture content and leaf dry mass
- Seasonal relationships between foliar moisture content, heat content and biochemistry of lodge pole pine and big sagebrush foliage
- A comparison of two methods for estimating conifer live foliar moisture content
XML: View XML