5th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology and the 2nd International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress

Tuesday, 18 November 2003: 8:30 AM
The influence of weather on combustion limits in a longleaf pine forest
Casey Anderson, USDA Forest Service, Seattle, WA; and S. A. Ferguson, M. Rorig, K. Heirs, S. McKay, M. Moore, D. Olson, D. Wright, C. Wright, R. E. Vihnanek, and R. D. Ottmar
Poster PDF (219.4 kB)
To better understand the effects of weather on combustion limits in a longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forest, an array of portable weather stations continuously recorded meteorological data for a period of 24 months at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle. Forest floor moisture levels were monitored by in situ time domain reflectometers, and several prescribed burns were conducted under a variety of moisture conditions. Consumption values derived from preburn and postburn fuel sampling show a clear correlation between forest floor moisture and forest floor fuel consumption. A further examination of the forest floor moisture values reveals the influences of precipitation amount, precipitation duration, relative humidity and time of year on the duration that forest floor biomass remains within acceptable thresholds for prescribed burning. This interseasonal data record provides a significant increase in the understanding of the effect of meteorological variables on forest floor biomass moisture dynamics and ultimately their effect upon longleaf pine mortality.

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