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    Surface fuels are the critical link between structure and function in frequently burned pine ecosystems, which are found globally (Williamson and Black,1981; Rebertus et al.,1989; Glitzenstein et al.,1995) [1–3]. We bring fuels to the forefront of fire ecology through the concept of the Ecology of Fuels (Hiers et al. 2009) [4]. This concept describes a cyclic process between fuels, fire behavior, and fire effects, which ultimately affect future fuel distribution (Mitchell et al. 2009) [5]. Low-intensity surface fires are driven by the variability in fine-scale (sub-m level) fuels (Loudermilk et al. 2012) [6]. Traditional fuel measurement approaches do not capture this variability because they are over-generalized, and do not consider the fine-scale architecture of interwoven fuel types. Here, we introduce a new approach, the “3D fuels sampling protocol” that measures fuel biomass at the scale and dimensions useful for characterizing heterogeneous fuels found in low-intensity surface fire regimes. 

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    Hawley, Christie M.; Loudermilk, E. Louise; Rowell, Eric M.; Pokswinski, Scott. 2018. A novel approach to fuel biomass sampling for 3D fuel characterization. MethodsX. 5: 1597-1604.


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