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 Research Station
Help
 

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

View PDF (1.8 MB)

Title: Effects of overstory composition and prescribed fire on fuel loading across a heterogeneous managed landscape in the southeastern USA

Author: Parresol, Bernard R.; Blake, John I.; Thompson, Andrew J.;

Date: 2012

Source: Forest Ecology and Management 273:29–42

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: In the southeastern USA, land use history, forest management and natural geomorphic features have created heterogeneous fuel loads. This apparent temporal and spatial variation in fuel loads make it difficult to reliably assess potential fire behavior from remotely sensed canopy variables to determine risk and to prescribe treatments. We examined this variation by exploring the relationships between overstory forest vegetation attributes, recent fire history, and selected surface fuel components across an 80,000 ha contiguous landscape. Measurements of dead and live vegetation components of surface fuels were obtained from 624 permanent plots, or about 1 plot per 100 ha of forest cover. Within forest vegetation groups, we modeled the relationship between individual surface fuel components and overstory stand age, basal area, site quality and recent fire history, then stochastically predicted fuel loads across the landscape using the same linkage variables. The fraction of the plot variation, i.e., R2, explained by predictive models for individual fuel components ranged from 0.05 to 0.66 for dead fuels and 0.03 to 0.97 for live fuels in pine dominated vegetation groups. Stand age and basal area were generally more important than recent fire history for predicting fuel loads. Mapped fuel loads using these regressor variables showed a very heterogeneous landscape even at the scale of a few square kilometers. The mapped patterns corresponded to stand based forest management disturbances that are reflected in age, basal area, and fire history. Recent fire history was significant in explaining variation in litter and duff biomass. Stand basal area was positively and consistently related to dead fuel biomass in most groups and was present in many predictive equations. Patterns in live fuel biomass were related to recent fire history, but the patterns were not consistent among forest vegetation groups. Age and basal area were related to live fuels in a complex manner that is likely confounded with periodic disturbances that disrupt stand dynamics. This study complements earlier hazardous fuels research in the southeastern USA, and indicates that succession, disturbance, site quality and decomposition interact with forest management practices to create variable spatial and temporal conditions. The inclusion of additional land use, disturbance history, and soil-topographic variables coupled to improved sampling methods may increase precision and subsequent fuel mapping.

Keywords: Prescribed fire, Fuel mapping, Inventory, Loblolly pine, Longleaf pine, Slash pine

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:


Parresol, Bernard R.; Blake, John I.; Thompson, Andrew J. 2012. Effects of overstory composition and prescribed fire on fuel loading across a heterogeneous managed landscape in the southeastern USA. Forest Ecology and Management 273:29–42.

 


 [ 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.