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    Author(s): Clinton S. Wright; Alexander M. Evans; Joseph C. Restaino
    Date: 2017
    Source: Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 18 p.
    Publication Series: Research Note (RN)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (2.0 MB)

    Description

    Hand-constructed piles in eastern Washington and north-central New Mexico were weighed periodically between October 2011 and June 2015 to develop decay-rate constants that are useful for estimating the rate of piled biomass loss over time. Decay-rate constants (k) were determined by fitting negative exponential curves to time series of pile weight for each site. Piles at the Washington site (k = 0.027/year) decomposed significantly more slowly than piles at the New Mexico site (k = 0.064/year). Significant differences in k for each site may be a function of a between-site variation in pile composition (with or without large woody material), the environmental dissimilarities between sites (Mediterranean climate regime in Washington vs. monsoonal climate regime in New Mexico), or a combination of factors.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Wright, Clinton S.; Evans, Alexander M.; Restaino, Joseph C. 2017. Decomposition rates for hand-piled fuels. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 18 p.

    Keywords

    hand piles, decay-rate constant, fractional mass loss, fuels management, Washington, New Mexico.

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