Skip to Main Content
Measuring moisture dynamics to predict fire severity in longleaf pine forests.Author(s): Sue A. Ferguson; Julia E. Ruthford; Steven J. McKay; David Wright; Clint Wright; Roger Ottmar
Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
PDF: Download Publication (432 KB)
DescriptionTo understand the combustion limit of biomass fuels in a longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forest, an experiment was conducted to monitor the moisture content of potentially flammable forest floor materials (litter and duff) at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle. While longleaf pine forests are fire dependent ecosystems, a long history of fire exclusion has allowed large amounts of pine litter and duff to accumulate. Reintroduction fire to remove excess fuel without killing the longleaf pine trees requires care to burn under litter and duff moisture conditions that alternately allow fire to carry while preventing root exposure or stem girdle. The study site was divided into four blocks that were burned under litter and duff moisture conditions of wet, moist, dry, and very dry. Throughout the 4-month experiment, portable weather stations continuously collected meteorological data, which included continuous measurements of water content in the forest floor material from in situ, time-domain reflectometers. In addition, volumetric moisture samples were collected almost weekly, and pre-burn fuel load and subsequent consumption were measured for each burn. Meteorological variables from the weather stations compared with trends in fuel moisture conditions showed significant influence on patterns of fuel consumption and could lead to an understanding of processes that govern longleaf pine mortality.
- 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.
CitationFerguson, Sue A.; Ruthford, Julia E.; McKay, Steven J.; Wright, David; Wright, Clint; Ottmar, Roger. 2002. Measuring moisture dynamics to predict fire severity in longleaf pine forests. International Journal of Wildland Fire
- Recent advances in understanding duff consumption and post-fire longleaf pine mortality
- Overstory tree mortality resulting from reintroducing fire to long-unburned longleaf poine forests: the importance of duff moisture.
- Initial effects from re-introducing fire in Alabama montane longleaf stands: fifty years since last burn
XML: View XML