Spatial patterning of fuels and fire hazard across a central U.S. deciduous forest region
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Landscape Ecology. 26: 923-935.
Information describing spatial and temporal variability of forest fuel conditions is essential to assessing overall fire hazard and risk. Limited information exists describing spatial characteristics of fuels in the eastern deciduous forest region, particularly in dry oak-dominated regions that historically burned relatively frequently. From an extensive fuels survey of unmanaged forest lands (1,446 plots) we described fuel loadings and spatial patterns of fine and coarse fuels. We attempted to explain the variability in fuel loading of each time-lag fuel class using landscape and seasonal variables through a multiple regression modeling approach. Size class distributions of woody fuels were generally homogeneous across the region except in the glaciated portions of Illinois where loadings appeared lower. Temporally, litter depths progressively decreased from leaffall (November). A fire hazard model that combined seasonal changes in litter depth and fuel moisture content depicted the degree of regional spatial variability during the transition between extreme dry and wet conditions. In the future, fire hazard indices could be paired with ignition probabilities in order to assess spatio-temporal variability of fire risk within the region.
Keywordsfire behavior fire hazard fire risk Missouri Illinois Indiana Ozark highlands interior lowland plateau topographic roughness
Stambaugh, Michael C.; Dey, Daniel C.; Guyette, Richard P.; He, Hong S.; Marschall, Joseph M. 2011. Spatial patterning of fuels and fire hazard across a central US deciduous forest region. Landscape Ecology. 26: 923-935. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-011-9618-y.