Event Title

Understanding Fuel Loadings in Healthy and Degraded Wyoming Big Sagebrush Ecological Sites Using a Fuels Database Tool

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://www.restoringthewest.org/

Abstract

Sagebrush shrublands in the Great Basin are highly influenced by non-native plants that alter successional trajectories, suppress native species, and promote frequent wildfire. Fine-fuel loadings created by nonnative annual grasses and forbs can be highly variable through space and time, which can increase uncertainty when predicting fire risk and behavior. We sampled >2,500 subplots in southwestern Idaho over three years to estimate percent cover, vegetation height, and fuel loadings. These data along with elevation, precipitation, temperature, and soil information were entered into a newly developed fuels database tool. The tool is designed to assist land managers in estimating fuel loadings across an invasion gradient, ranging from intact sagebrush to nonnative-dominated communities. Users can query the data using vegetation cover, vegetation height, and specific environmental variables (e.g., elevation, precipitation, temperature, soil surace texture, and ecological site) and return fuel loading data that match query parameters. Queried database output also includes point-based photos, which can be used to identify and refine areas that best match the current ground conditions. Results can be exported to Excel or summarized in Word reports that can be taken into the field to aid ground-based estimates of fuel loadings. With additional fuels data input from users, the Fuels Project Database has the potential to be a powerful tool to assist land managers in making quick and accurate fuel loading estimates throughout a wide range of sagebrush shrubland conditions.

Comments

Justin Welty is a Land Treatment Digital Library Project Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 29th, 1:00 PM Oct 29th, 1:30 PM

Understanding Fuel Loadings in Healthy and Degraded Wyoming Big Sagebrush Ecological Sites Using a Fuels Database Tool

USU Eccles Conference Center

Sagebrush shrublands in the Great Basin are highly influenced by non-native plants that alter successional trajectories, suppress native species, and promote frequent wildfire. Fine-fuel loadings created by nonnative annual grasses and forbs can be highly variable through space and time, which can increase uncertainty when predicting fire risk and behavior. We sampled >2,500 subplots in southwestern Idaho over three years to estimate percent cover, vegetation height, and fuel loadings. These data along with elevation, precipitation, temperature, and soil information were entered into a newly developed fuels database tool. The tool is designed to assist land managers in estimating fuel loadings across an invasion gradient, ranging from intact sagebrush to nonnative-dominated communities. Users can query the data using vegetation cover, vegetation height, and specific environmental variables (e.g., elevation, precipitation, temperature, soil surace texture, and ecological site) and return fuel loading data that match query parameters. Queried database output also includes point-based photos, which can be used to identify and refine areas that best match the current ground conditions. Results can be exported to Excel or summarized in Word reports that can be taken into the field to aid ground-based estimates of fuel loadings. With additional fuels data input from users, the Fuels Project Database has the potential to be a powerful tool to assist land managers in making quick and accurate fuel loading estimates throughout a wide range of sagebrush shrubland conditions.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2015/Posters/3