Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern
Help
 

GeoTreesearch


Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

(339 KB)

Title: Fuel moisture influences on fire-altered carbon in masticated fuels: An experimental study

Author: Brewer, Nolan W.; Smith, Alistair M.S.; Hatten, Jeffery A.; Higuera, Philip E.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Ottmar, Roger D.; Tinkham, Wade T.

Date: 2013

Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. 118: 30-40

Publication Series: Journal/Magazine Article (JRNL)

Description: Biomass burning is a significant contributor to atmospheric carbon emissions but may also provide an avenue in which fire-affected ecosystems can accumulate carbon over time, through the generation of highly resistant fire-altered carbon. Identifying how fuel moisture, and subsequent changes in the fire behavior, relates to the production of fire-altered carbon is important in determining how persistent charred residues are following a fire within specific fuel types. Additionally, understanding how mastication (mechanical forest thinning) and fire convert biomass to black carbon is essential for understanding how this management technique, employed in many fire-prone forest types, may influence stand-level black carbon in soils. In this experimental study, 15 masticated fuel beds, conditioned to three fuel moisture ranges, were burned, and production rates of pyrogenic carbon and soot-based black carbon were evaluated. Pyrogenic carbon was determined through elemental analysis of the post-fire residues, and soot-based black carbon was quantified with thermochemical methods. Pyrogenic carbon production rates ranged from 7.23% to 8.67% relative to pre-fire organic carbon content. Black carbon production rates averaged 0.02% in the 4-8% fuel moisture group and 0.05% in the 13-18% moisture group. A comparison of the ratio of black carbon to pyrogenic carbon indicates that burning with fuels ranging from 13% to 15% moisture content resulted in a higher proportion of black carbon produced, suggesting that the precursors to black carbon were indiscriminately consumed at lower fuel moistures. This research highlights the importance of fuel moisture and its role in dictating both the quantity and quality of the carbon produced in masticated fuel beds.

Keywords: fire, fuel moisture, carbon emissions, fuels, biomass

Publication Notes:

  • 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.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Brewer, Nolan W.; Smith, Alistair M. S.; Hatten, Jeffery A.; Higuera, Philip E.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Ottmar, Roger D.; Tinkham, Wade T. 2013. Fuel moisture influences on fire-altered carbon in masticated fuels: An experimental study. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. 118: 30-40.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.