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Title: D3.3.2 / deliverable
Language: English
Description: The first stage of the fuel database is presented.
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Title: D3.1-2a Review of knowledge gaps and proposal for fuel data collection and test runs /
Language: English
Description: A review of the different aspects of fuel moisture research was conducted. The following knowledge (research) gaps can be identified: (a) The horizontal spatial variability of dead fuel moisture in relation to vegetation (e.g., stand structure, crown closure, stem density, litter and duff depth, etc.) and topographic characteristics (aspect, slope, soil depth and type, etc.) needs to be measured and modelled in the field. (b) The temporal (diurnal and seasonal) variation in dead and live fuel moisture content as related to changes in meteorological parameters (air relative humidity and temperature, insolation and cloudiness, wind speed and duration, etc) needs to be measured in the field for all the dominant Mediterranean fuel types at the species level, to the extent possible. For fire-stricken geographical regions of the Mediterranean Basin, extensive data bases of seasonal fuel moisture data per species or fuel type must be created and, subsequently, converted through statistical analysis to empirical models of fuel moisture prediction, refined for every species or fuel complex. (c) Equilibrium moisture content (EMC) sorption (adsorption and desorption) curves of dead fuels as a function of air relative humidity and temperature need to be created for the fuels of all the dominant species. (d) The fuel moisture timelag (TL) concept needs to be reassessed and measured in dead fuels from different species in relation to the fuel moisture sorption phase (adsorption or desorption), in order to account for the moisture hysteretic effects of dead fuels during the wetting or drying process. (e) A physical model that predicts canopy (crown) live fuel moisture content variations in terms of stand and tree phenological and physiological characteristics and soil water balance has to be formulated. (f) A comparison between actual measurements of dead fuel moisture with the moisture content of fuel analogues (i.e., fuel moisture sticks) is necessary in order to validate the precision of the analogues in fuel moisture assessment. (g) The relationship between dead and live fuel moisture and drought (prolonged period of high temperatures and low air and soil humidity) needs to be further investigated, and in particular, the response of shrub and tree species moisture content to drought. The use of the newly formed SPI (Standard Precipitation Index) drought index might be useful in the correlation with fuel moisture, in addition to the traditionally used KBDI and Palmer indexes. In view of the expected global warming and climatic change, this research aspect of fuel moisture could be very significant in the future. (h) The moisture of extinction (ME) of dead and live fuels must be measured in the field (in situ) with a long series of ignition experiments in different fuel types and, subsequently, correlated with the existing fuel moisture content and meteorological parameters in the field, into regression and probabilistic models. ME values of the most significant Mediterranean fuel types must be measured in the laboratory and in the field. (i) The condensation (water vapour that originates from the atmosphere in the form of dew on the surface of dead fuels) and the latent heat of vaporisation of free water from the fuel particle surface are two terms that are currently neglected and must be taken into account in future physical models of dead fuel moisture content. (j) The optimal temporal (time) step for monitoring vegetation moisture content (greenness) via satellite imagery needs to be determined in dead and live Mediterranean fuel complexes.
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Title: Deliverable 3.1-3 Dead fuel moisture prediction: First results /
Language: English
Description: The Deliverable D3.1-3 (Dead fuel moisture prediction: First results) is included in the Activity 1 (Fuel moisture content prediction) of the Work package 3.1 (Prediction of ignition and fuel flammability and temporal variation of fuel moisture). The aim of Activity 1 is to develop empirical models of dead fuel moisture. There are two posibilities in order to construct this kind of models: directly from atmospheric variables or adapting existing models. Many studies of the applicability of existing dead fuel moisture prediction models to different species, fuels and situations have been published. Some of them are (in chronological order): Hough and Albini (1978); Loomis and Main (1980); Harrington (1982); Fosberg et al. (1981); Simard and Main (1982); Simard et al. (1984); Rothermel et al. (1986); Vega and Casal (1986); Burgan (1987); Hatton et al. (1988); Viney and Hatton (1989, 1990); Pech (1989); Hartford and Rothermel (1991); Viegas et al. (1992); Pook (1993); Marsden-Smedley and Catchpole (2001); Beck and Armitage (2004); Wotton et al. (2005); de Groot et al. (2005), and Slijepcevic and Anderson (2006). Several of these studies also include new empirical prediction models or calibrate existing models to specific conditions. Studies on fuel moisture variation in relation to weather have also been conducted, e.g. Pook and Gill (1993) and Saglam et al. (2006). The published studies vary in relation to the type of model (empirical, semiphysical or both), species and type of fuel considered, the experimental location (field or “ex situ”), the kind of sample (destructive or non destructive), the type of prediction (daily or diurnal) and the statistical analyses used (Ruiz 2005). In this document empirical models fitted from atmospheric variables are presented. The models must be considered as preliminary because new moisture content data are currently being collected in the PARADOX framework. Also, several experiments that currently are being conducted are described and some first fuel moisture data results and preliminary conclusions presented. Information, data analyses, results and conclusions have been provided by AUTH (University of Thessaloniki), FFPD-FRI (Forest Research Institute of Warsaw), INIACIFOR (Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnologia Agraria y Alimentaria of Madrid) and XG-CIFAL (Centro de Investigaciones Forestales y Ambientales de Lourizán, Xunta de Galicia). In some cases measurements and data analyses were completely conducted within the context of the FIRE PARADOX Project. In other ones evaluation and analysis of previous data were carried out in the framework of the project. Different pine species, in accordance with forest stands present in the involved countries, are considered. In relation with the type of fuel, all partners have worked with litter. Aditionally, some studies include duff, 1-hr and 10-hr dead surface fuels or aerial dead fine fuels. Destructive samples were collected from field experimental plots where the different sources of fuel moisture are present. One study was conduced in a meteorological instrument shelter where fuel moisture is only controlled by the vapour exchange with the atmosphere. In this experiment non destructive samples were used. Two kinds of fuel moisture observations were included by the partners in order to achieve two different predictions: daily minimum moisture contents and hourly values.
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Title: D3.1-4 Fire occurrence: relationships with fuel moisture content and remotely-sensed plant phenology data: First results /
Language: English
Description: Sardinia is one of the most fire-prone regions of Italy. The high incidence of fires in Sardinia constitutes a problem in terms of damages and resources management, consequently, for provisional and operational planning, it’s very important to know the wildfire regime characteristics and their linkage with the determinant factors. The study of the relationship between the spatio-temporal distribution characteristics of wildfires and the remote-sensed symphenological variables highlighted the role of temporal NDVI signal as a reliable tool for analyzing ecological processes, going beyond the biophysical significance of single-date NDVI values as proxies to photsyntetic activity. The results obtained show that the simultaneous ordering of symphenological variables and fire regime characteristics, based on the spatial distribution of PNV, is consistent with a climatic control that acts on both phenomena. In an evolving landscape, knowing that the wildfires regime is strictly determined by potential natural vegetation phenology can be helpful for monitoring and predicting fires behaviour under changing climatic scenario. Finally, by providing a phytogeographical framework for characterizing fires, the PNV map can be considered a valuable tool for applying research results to fire management policies, since it takes properly into account the underlying determinant factors.
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Title: D3.1-5 Probability of ignition modelling in forest fuels – First results /
Language: English
Description: Following a similar approach to previous research, and aiming to cover gaps in the literature on ignition, especially in regard to Mediterranean conditions, the present study focuses on the following: (1) To evaluate the threshold of fuel moisture content that allows a fire to start. A range of fuel types (pine needles, grass and Quercus coccifera leaves) are examined, as are different ignition sources (kitchen matches, cigarettes, machinery sparks and electrical discharge), with the presence/absence of wind in order to determine the probability of ignition of selected natural dead fuels (MAICh); and (2) To measure the probability of ignition of annual live herbaceous fuels, at various moisture contents, in the field (AUTh). Fuel moisture content (FMC) is used as the main predictor variable throughout these experiments because it has a major effect on fuel ignitability, is easily altered and can be accurately measured. Only the first results of the study are presented within this deliverable: (1) Probability of ignition of pine needles (Pinus halepensis) with kitchen matches and cigarettes as ignition sources conducted in the wind tunnel of MAICh. (2) Probability of ignition of grass (Hyparrhenia hirta) with kitchen matches as an ignition source conducted in the wind tunnel of MAICh. (3) Some preliminary test of pine needles with machinery sparks as well as grass with cigarettes conducted in the wind tunnel of MAICh. (4) Fuel moisture extinction in live annual herbaceous plants (Avena barbata) in the field (AUTh). The final results will be presented within deliverable D 3.1-10 due in month 46 of the project.
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Title: D3.1-6 Empirical modelling of fuel flammability and initial fire propagation: First results /
Language: English
Description: Fuel flammability, that is “the relative ease with which a substance ignites and sustains combustion” (according to the Wildland Fire Management Terminology, FAO 1986) is closely related to the initial phase of fire propagation. Therefore, is an essential component of fuel hazard and fire risk assessment, that are relevant parts of fire management planning (Dimitrakopoulos 2001). In this frame, the objective of Activity 3.1.5 of FIRE PARADOX is to construct empirical models linking fuel bed flammability to stand and fuel characteristics. Two FP Partners are involved in this activity: P07 (INIA-CIFOR) and P15 (CEMAGREF) that have worked on different European ecosystems. CEMAGREF has sampled fuel beds in relation to fuel models that were studied within WP3.4, and has assessed the effect of variables related to fuel beds, stand characteristics, type of ignition source and wind speed on flammability parameters. Flammability experiments were conducted on fuel beds collected in three major ecosystems or environments that are typical of the French Mediterranean area of Provence: the forest ecosystems and fuel types on acidic (Maures area) and calcareous soils, and the road-forest interfaces (Calcareous Provence area). INIA-CIFOR has conducted flammability tests on fine dead fuel beds resulting of mechanical treatments for wildfire hazard reduction in shrublands, assessing the effect of variables related to fuel beds, types of treatment and types of ignition source/wind speed on flammability parameters. Fuel beds were collected in shrubland experimental plots located in Galicia (NW of Spain) where two types of treatments for wildfire hazard reduction, brush out and crushing, were carried out by Partner P10 (XG-CIFAL). This deliverable presents the first results of the conducted studies.
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Title: D3.1-10 Fire occurence: relationships with fuel moisture content and remotely-sensed plant phenology data: final results (merged with D3.1-9) /
Language: English
Description: Fire is a basic ecological factor that contributes to determine vegetation diversity and dynamics in time and space. Fuel characteristics play an essential role in fire ignition and propagation; at the landscape scale fuel availability and flammability are closely related to the vegetation phenology that directly affects wildfire pattern in time and space. In this view, the annual NDVI profiles derived from high temporal resolution satellites, like SPOT Vegetation, represent an effective tool for monitoring the coarse-scale vegetation seasonal timing. The objective of this study thus consists in quantifying the explanatory power of multitemporal NDVI profiles on the fire regime characteristics of the potential natural vegetation (PNV) types of Sardinia (Italy) over a five-year period (2000-2004). The results obtained show a good association between the NDVI temporal dynamics of the PNV of Sardinia and the corresponding fire regime characteristics, emphasizing the role of the bioclimatic timing of the vegetation in controlling the coarse-scale wildfire spatio-temporal distribution of Sardinia. By providing a sound phytogeographical framework for describing different wildfire regimes, PNV maps can thus be considered helpful cartographic documents for fire management strategies at the landscape scale.
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Title: Deliverable D3.1-12 Empirical modelling of fuel flammability and initial fuel propagation, including determination of fuel moisture threshold for fire ignition /
Language: English
Description: This report sums up the fuel flammability experiments (WP 3.1) dedicated to the determination of the thresholds of fuel moisture for fire ignition, and to the assessment of the ignition probability for different dead (i.e. litter) forest fuels in Greece, Spain, Argentina, and France. The probability of ignition has been modelled in for forest fuels through laboratory fires (Cemagref, INIA-CIFOR, MAICh, AUTH and CIEFAP), using different sources of ignitions and different environmental conditions (i.e. nul wind versus windy conditions). The sources of ignition were glowing, flaming, or sparks. The wind was controlled and set as nul or strong. Fuels were chosen as representative of the main natural (e.g. dead leaves and litter duff) and modified (e.g. pine plantations, residuals of fuel treatments) ecosystems of each country. As the main factor controlling ignition, fuel moisture content (FMC) was controlled experimentally along a wide range (generally 5 to more than 50%). The main findings are: (i) the importance of the combination of the source of ignition, the wind speed and the fuel type to assess the ignition. It has been proved that ignition can vary strongly according to this ‘triangle’, with some sources of ignition being especially efficient for some fuel types, and the complex influence of wind that may increase or decrease the ignition success; (ii) the establishment of community- or species-specific logistic models of ignition versus FMC (see Figure below); (iii) the subsequent determination of fuel moisture of extinction for most fuels studied.
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Title: D3.2-1 Pine resistance and survival to fire: state of the art /
Language: English
Description: Pine resistance to low to moderate intensity fire arises from traits (namely related to tissue insulation from heat) that enable survival under a low-severity fire regime. Predictive models of tree survival after fire are quite valuable to assist decision-making after wildfire and to plan prescribed burning. This document is divided in three sections, respectively (i) a description of the factors that determine fire-induced conifer damage and mortality and variables used to model post burn mortality/survival, (ii) a review of the current literature containing data and models pertaining to the survival of European pines to fire, and (iii) the development of a fire resistance rating for European pines, whose limitations are discussed. Tree mortality is a complex process. The likelihood of a conifer tree surviving a fire is a function of the extent of damage to the crown, the stem and the root system. Most models of post burn tree mortality are based on a dimensional variable (usually DBH) combined with one or two variables describing direct or indirect assessments of fire damage: the height, relative height or volume fraction of crown injury, the height or relative height of stem charring, the depth of stem char. A basic problem in post fire mortality modelling is the ability to account for delayed mortality due to biotic causes. The amount and quality of the current information on fire resistance of the various European species is quite variable. Data from low-intensity fire experiments or regimes is comparatively abundant for Pinus pinaster and P. sylvestris, while tree survival after wildfire has been modelled for P. pinea and P. halepensis. Pinus canariensis, P. pinaster and P. pinea are better equipped to survive fire, but even species often referred to as fire-sensitive (P. halepensis and P. radiata) tolerate low-intensity fire.
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Title: Deliverable D3.2-8-1000 Guide to assess wildfire damage in Pinus stands /
Language: English
Description: How wildfire should be assessed, can determine tree survival rate in commercial pine plantations and to what extent timber can be salvaged. The estimated percentage tree survival will be determined by determining parameters such as: The type of fire experienced (surface, crown and/or spotting fires) and stand characteristics, such as the natural vegetation base, stand age, tree growth rates, species, stem density, the height of the lowest living crown above the forest floor and flare up potential within stand understoreys. These can all be used to advantage to assess wildfire damage to trees. By conducting pre-wildfire assessments, the potential for tree survival can now be estimated before a wildfire occurs, which will now make it possible to classify pine stands in relation to their survival rate. This will in turn make it feasible to use such a pre-wildfire classification for fast damage assessment after a wildfire was experienced, as well as for rating fire hazard in pine stands at a regional scale. In this paper comparisons were also made between two main natural vegetation biome bases in Europe (Pinus halepensis in southern Italy and Pinus pinaster in central Portugal) and in three vegetation bases in South Africa (Pinus species established in Fynbos vegetation in the Cape forest regions, and Pinus species established in Montane or Savanna grassland of the summer rainfall regions of South Africa). These classifications can then provide guidelines, which can be applied where pine trees are grown commercially, for aesthetic purposes or for nature conservation in Southern Africa and in Mediterranean countries.
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Title: D3.3-1 Review of data structures for fuel database and protocols for fuel description /
Language: English
Description: Our overall goal in this work package can be defined as follows: “the systematic collection, storage and processing of knowledge on fuels for different users, with different needs, at different scales in order to assess the fuel complex and its fire potential from combustion to the landscape level”. We intend to: (1) collect, store and process existing knowledge on: (i) fuel acquisition protocols / fuel sampling methods; (ii) resulting fuel data categories & fuel models; (iii) allocation of fuel data categories & models to different fire behaviour & fire models at different scales. (2) generate, collect, store and process new knowledge on: (i) which fuel data protocol /fuel sampling method for which purpose at which scale? (ii) user needs: which user needs what at which scale, why & when/how often? This can be achieved by developing a knowledge platform with a single, on-line point of access. This will allow fire ecologists, modellers and managers (and eventually the general public) to access information on definitions, techniques for monitoring fuels, key fuel descriptors with regards to fire behaviour and impact and existing fuel models (Table 1). The system will help to harmonize fire control planning and experimental fire procedures across Europe, where many different approaches are in use (see EUFIRELAB report: UNIT2: D-01-02-01/06 http://www.eufirelab.org/). The system should provide a ‘Clearing House’ for data and information relating to fuel. This may be partly through the collection and storage of data in a single integrated system, and partly through the collection of metadata about information that will be stored elsewhere. We also propose to develop a wiki or bliki to which the fire community can contribute.
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Title: D3.2-2. Tree resistance to fire: first results /
Language: English
Description: Knowledge on tree resistance to fire is critical in forest management. However, research in post-fire tree mortality in Europe is scarce. The objective within WP3.2 of the Fire Paradox project to study and quantify direct and indirect tree resistance to both prescribed fire and wildfire, including tree survival in relation to indirect measures of fire intensity, to enable tree damage prediction and deduce tree mortality with a physically based fire model, and to calibrate the 3D fire model outputs with field experiments data covering a range of fire severities. Preliminary results in tree resistance to fire for pine and broadleaved species are presented in this deliverable.
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Title: Deliverable D3.2-7-1000 Knowledge base in damage assessment to forests and plantations. /
Language: English
Description: The response of pine trees to fire has been researched in Southern Africa over three decades, and the results of these studies have been summarized. The relative effect of fire to the bole of trees (cambium damage) and to the crown of trees (crown scorch and crown fires) were investigated for their effect on tree growth rate, survival and mortality. Comparisons were also made between two main natural vegetation biome bases where pine trees are grown commercially in Southern Africa: (a) pine trees established inside fynbos vegetation (Cape Forest regions) and (b) pine trees established in montane grassland (summer rainfall regions, Kruger, 2004). The application of prescribed burning inside pine stands in the Cape forest regions could only be applied without the probability of damage to trees after complete tree crown canopy closure. Where trees were established inside grassland, cambium damage was not a problem and tree mortality as a result of serious crown scorch could be avoided where trees were > four years stand age. Pinus elliottii proved to be the most resistance species to fire damage of all Pinus species grown commercially in Southern Africa, regardless whether established in fynbos or grassland. However the species was most resistant to fire in grassland, where it has been recorded that more than 90% of the trees could survive a controlled fire, at three years stand age. The latest results and methodology for wildfire damage assessment have also been summarized.
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Title: D3.3-2 Database populated with data already existing within the consortium /
Language: English
Description: WSL is in charge of activity WP3.3.4, namely “to design a database for storing quantitative and qualitative descriptions of fuel architecture at the plot scale and of individual plants at the branch scale, including the 3D structure of biomass, height, cover, size fractions, proportion dead, continuity, etc.” In Deliverable 3.3.1 we developed a larger concept, thinking at a more general fuel knowledge platform with wider services and users. The need of designing such as database has also been pointed out in the review of existing databases for fuel moisture and fuel bed characterization carried out in Deliverable D3.1-1. Due to the consistent delays inside the WP 3.3 in receiving and analyzing fuel protocols, and due to the large heterogeneity in ways of structuring fuel data, during the December meeting in Las Palmas, the Work Package members agreed that at this stage the content of the deliverable will be: • a local test fuel-database populated with the INRA data for the cube method • all other data sent to us by the partners will be placed in their native format (eg. MSAccess, pdf, MSExcel, etc.) in a common accessible place (currently the Paradox web site, in case of larger datasets they will be moved to an ftp server)
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Title: DELIVERABLE 3.3-3-26-1000 Prototype of Biophysical Models of Fuel Accumulation using Empirical Data /
Language: English
Description: Wildfires are a serious problem affecting many terrestrial ecosystems and causing substantial economic damage. Understanding the variation in structure of fuels (which in natural landscapes is predominantly represented by plant litter and live vegetation) is key to understanding the behaviour of wildland fires. An understanding of changes to fuels as vegetation develops is also central to the management of both wildfire and the planning of prescribed burning. A description of fuel structure is required for all models of fire behaviour. It is therefore important that we have an appropriate system for describing fuel structure and predicting how fuel structure will develop through time (fuel succession). In this paper we review the range of published models used for fuel description and fuel succession. We propose an object-orientated database as an appropriate method for storing the complex data structures that are needed to process and analyse data on fuels. The potential advantages of an object-orientated database as a tool for modelling fuel succession are discussed.
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Title: Deliverable 3.5-1-40 Relationships between fire and grazing: Determining the relationship between fire and savanna in Central and Southern Africa /
Language: English
Description: As a means of providing an objective perspective of the relationships between fire and grazing in African grasslands and savannas a detailed review is presented on the effects of fire per se in terms of type and intensity of fire and season and frequency of burning on the grass sward and tree and shrub vegetation. This provided the means of being able to differentiate between the effects of fire alone and the effects of the burning grazing interaction on the grass sward and tree and shrub vegetation. Research on the effects of burning and grazing with domestic livestock (cattle/ sheep) is generally limited to moist grasslands where it has been found that to promote animal performance grazing must commence as soon as possible after burning in order to derive maximum benefit from the highly nutritious and palatable regrowth of the grass sward. However, this intense grazing gradually reduces the vigour of the grass sward and must be accompanied by extended rest periods of a year to restore plant reserves and maintain seed reserves. While there is limited research information on the effects of African wild ungulate grazers a long term burning and grazing experiment in the Kruger National Park in South Africa provides a valuable overview of the effects of season and frequency of burning and grazing on the condition of the grass sward in terms of its forage and fuel potential and resistance to soil erosion in moist and arid savannas. The research results reflecting the results of the treatments after 47 years clearly indicate that moist savannas are well adapted to fire and grazing in contrast to arid savannas that are very sensitive to fire and grazing irrespective of season of burn and very negatively affected by frequent fires. Nevertheless prescribed burning is an essential management practice in African grasslands and savannas that are used for domestic livestock production and wildlife management. Consequently a set of criteria have been developed to provide guidelines for the use of fire as a range management practice that effectively control the season and frequency of burning that should be applied to maintain the productivity and sustainability of the grass sward in African grasslands and savannas. Finally the withdrawal of fire as a management tool in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania in the 1970’s emphasise the importance of considering the ratio of bulk to concentrate grazers when formulating range management programs in African grasslands and savannas.
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Title: D3.3-5-34 Release of prototype software for allometric modelling of fuel structure with provisional case studies /
Language: English
Description: This deliverable presents the Fire Paradox FuelSwing software. This is a modelling analysis tool intended to work in conjunction with the Fire Paradox Object Orientated Database (OOD). The application of the software is illustrated with two case studies: the allometric growth of individual shrubs of Ulex europaeus (Gorse) in Scotland and inventory data for shrubland plots in Malcata, Portugal.
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Title: D3.4-2 Review of fuel description methods /
Language: English
Description: The scope of this state-of-the-art is to give an overview on existing fuel description methods and their respective field protocols. Wildland fuels characteristics can be viewed as a hierarchy of levels of increasing complexity, from the cell, fuel particle to the fuel complex or stand and landscape level. The emphasis put on each hierarchy of fuel properties in this document will reflect the type of information required, which is, first of all, related to the approach taken to model fire behaviour.
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Title: D3.4-3 Fuel description: first results /
Language: English
Description: Knowledge about fuel is a fundamental part of wildland fire management, where fuel description and modelling contributes with information about potential fire behaviour. Fuel mapping, the product of spatially explicit information about fuels, is an indispensable but complex process in strategic fire management and planning, which requires skills in many different disciplines such as fire behaviour and ecology, and remote sensing and landscape ecology. The ultimate objective within work package 3.4 of the Fire Paradox project is to produce a guide for fire managers and scientists to assess and characterise fuel types in the Mediterranean region based on multidisciplinary work. An essential part will be to link potential fire behaviour to fuel characteristics through the definition of fuel types. By combining different remote sensing approaches, the expected outcome is that these fuel types can be extensively mapped for the Mediterranean region. Involved project partners have carried out studies from the scale of fuel particles to that of entire forest landscapes. Preliminary results of physical and chemical characteristics of leafy plant organs showed great variability among species, while these differences among species were much less for twigs of different size classes. At the level of individuals, bulk density of the finest fuel particles (leaves and twigs of 0-2 mm diameter) were greater at the outmost parts of shrubs compared to the interior or lower parts of the shrub. It was further shown that the absolute and relative amount of fuel particles size classes depended on a number of factors such as shrub height, and degree of disturbance. Studies using different remote sensing techniques demonstrate their strengths and weaknesses, while pointing out possible combinations using different approaches leading to higher classification accuracy as well as increased level of fuel type classification. Further work is needed in characterising fuel characteristics at the level of fuel particles, plant individuals and plant communities, before physics-based fire behaviour modelling of common Mediterranean fuel complexes can be carried out in order to deduce dominant fuel types to be mapped using remote sensing approaches. We further point out the importance of linking fuel type classification to other types of vegetation classification in order to facilitate exchange between multiple stakeholders in natural resource management and sustained development of wildland areas.
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Title: IR 3.4-6-40 Georeferenced database of representative sites including ecological data for North West of Pagatonia /
Language: English
Description: Fire has been a disturbance that has affected the Patagonian Forests along the Argentinean and Chilean sides of the Andean cordillera since immemorial times. Although with some interruptions due to suppression policies enforced in the 30´s by the Argentine National Parks Administration, either natural or man caused fires continue today to be one of the major driving forces that shapes Patagonian vegetation. The advancing of wildland urban interface areas towards the shrubland and forest areas and also changes in productive and recreational activities, have significantly increased fire risk. In order to deal with the fire problem, fire management agencies need accessible and accurate information, particularly about the type of vegetation (fuel types) and fire behavior that may affect the areas under their jurisdiction. The Fire Danger Rating Systems (FRDS) can represent the technical support for operative personnel to take decisions for controlling fires in progress. As a first step, in the year 2000, the National Plan for Fire Management (PNMF) started the adaptation, for Argentina, of the Fire Weather Index Subsystem taken from the Canadian Fire Danger Rating System. However, in order to provide essential information to feed this FDRS, fuel types and models should be previously defined. Once the models are defined, the organizations will be able to adapt the Fire Behavior Prediction System and, by doing so, complement its use. In this work, a methodology to describe and classify fuel types from remote sensing data is proposed for three broad vegetation communities and WUI representatives of large areas of Northwestern Patagonia. Exhaustive field samplings were carried out in order to obtain actual parameters of dead fuel load, which remained unknown up to the present, as well as qualitative description of spatial arrangement of surface and aboveground fuels. A geo-referenced database was then conformed for forest, shrublands and WUI areas. The forest types correspond to Austrocedrus chilensis (Don) Florin et Boutleje “ciprés de la cordillera” and Nothofagus antarctica (Forst.f.) Oerst. “ñire”, the main species of the East side of the Andean forests. For shrublands of the Occidental District in the Patagonian Phytogeographic Province, the representative types are composed of the species Colliguaja intengerrima Gillies et Hook “duraznillo”, Schinus marchandii Barkley “molle” and Mullinum spinosum (Cav) Pers. “neneo”, while WUI represent a mosaic of different forest, shrubland and grassland species intermixed, in which different types and degree of disturbances occur. In future studies, fire behavior parameters will be assessed in fire tests or in fires in progress, fuel types modeled, and the methodology for determining fuel types from woody debris inproved and adapted, particularly for Nothofagus antarctica (ñire).
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Title: Deliverable 3.5-2-40 Relationship between fire and grazing “Assessing relationships among fire-herbivory and man-modified vegetation types in the Chaco region of Argentina”. /
Language: English
Description: Originally, WP 3.5 was proposed because it addresses a well known fact: the interaction between livestock grazing and fire: the aboveground plant biomass eaten by livestock is not longer available for wildfires. Either lack of grazing or presence of grazing produces a change in the fire regime. So grazing is a disturbance that may be negatively related to fire. Specifically, grazing and grazing management are related to 2 of the four pillars of the fire paradox: wildfire initiation and wildfire propagation. Grazing could be seen as alternative to prescribed burning in sensitive areas. However, since several vegetation types need fire and fire keeps the equilibrium toward grass, grazing should be managed so there is enough fuel to keep the balance among plant types, specially brush-trees and grasses. When INTA became a member of the Fire Paradox Project, research in fire-grass-shrub relationships were addressed by research activities within the INTA Specific Project PNCAR 1503, ‘Range Improvement’ (2006-2009) that are continued with the Specific Project 263051 ‘Range Improvement Techniques (2009-2011). These activities are related to the use of fire to keep the balance among plant types, i. e. prescribed burning.
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Title: D3.4-1 Georeferenced database of representative sites including ecological data /
Language: English
Description: The first part of this deliverable gives an overview of the different study sites in the different countries (France, Greece, Spain, Morocco, Tunisia) involved in fuel description and mapping. The second part of the deliverable is dedicated to the description of the main vegetation types. The third part gives some examples of the plots that are described and some sampling methods, but a more detailed state-of-the-art will be given in D3.4-2. Then, in a fourth part, a list of the available data on the study sites is given. This list is detailed in an annexed table file. Study sites are also georeferenced in a GIS file.
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Title: D3.1-8 Dead fuel moisture modelling and validation /
Language: English
Description: This report presents the final results of researches developed about dead fuel moisture prediction, where empirical dead moisture content models fitted from atmospheric variables were analysed for: Pinus halepensis in Greece, Pinus sylvestris in Poland, and Pinus pinea, P. pinaster and P. radiata in Spain. Several types of fuels were considered: litter, duff and suspended needles. Moreover, an evaluation of the capability of different existing models to predict dead fuel moisture content in the above pine species and Eucalyptus globulus in Spain, and Nothofagus antarctica and Astrocedrus chilensis in Argentina was carried out. In general terms, FWI codes and the Sneeuwjagt and Peet values, adequately reflected the pattern of variation of fuel moisture of litter and duff. Still, the estimates of these models did not show sufficient accuracy to be used directly as predictors of the dead fuel moisture content. In periods not affected by precipitation, simpler vapour exchange models appeared to be suitable for dead fuel moisture content predictions.
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Title: D3.1-1 Review of existing databases for fuel moisture and fuel bed characteristics /
Language: English
Description: Fuel moisture, that is "the moisture percentage of fuel, usually measured by oven-drying a sample and calculating the ratio of dry and moist samples" (according to the EUFireLab Glossary, D-02-01 "Methods for wildland fuel description and modelling: A state of the art") is a critical parameter that affects fire ignition, fire behaviour as well as the impacts of fire. Fuel moisture content is a necessary input for all existing physical, semi-physical and empirical fire behaviour prediction models. In addition, fuel moisture content is a main component of most fire danger rating systems. From the operational point of view, fuel moisture content estimates are also required for prescribed burning (planning and use) and for suppression activities. On the other hand, the characterization of fuel beds, defined as "individual fuel particles organized in defined proportions and structural configurations" (EUFireLab Glossary, D-02-01), has also been pointed out as one of the keys for the assessment of potential fire behaviour and effects, related with both wildland fire prevention and fighting. Therefore, fire scientists as well as fire managers require specific information concerning fuel moisture content and fuel bed characteristics, as it has also been pointed out in Fire Paradox D3.3-1. In this frame, the aim of this deliverable (3.1-1) is to give an overview on existing databases for fuel moisture and fuel bed characterization. To achieve this goal, a search was conducted through Internet, EuFireLab documentation and other literature, and a questionnaire requesting information on the databases for fuel moisture or fuel bed characterization was sent to all members of the Fire Paradox Module 3. A total of five positive answers (XG-CIFAL, Cemagref, University of Thessaloniki, Forest Research Institute of Warsaw and University of Edinburgh) was received.
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