Title

Estimating canopy fuel characteristics in five conifer stands in the western United States using tree and stand measurements

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Canadian Journal of Forest Research

Publication Date

2006

Issue

11

Volume

36

Publisher

NRC Research Press

First Page

2803

Last Page

2814

Abstract

Assessment of crown fire potential requires quantification of canopy fuels. In this study, canopy fuels were measured destructively on plots in five Interior West conifer stands. Observed canopy bulk density, canopy fuel load, and vertical profiles of canopy fuels are compared with those estimated from stand data using several computational techniques. An allometric approach to estimating these canopy fuel characteristics was useful, but, for accuracy, estimates of vertical biomass distribution and site-adjustment factors were required. Available crown fuel was estimated separately for each tree according to species, diameter, and crown class. The vertical distribution of this fuel was then modeled within each tree crown on the basis of tree height and crown base height. Summing across trees within the stand at every height yielded an estimated vertical profile of canopy fuel that approximated the observed distribution.

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