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Forest floor depths and fuel loads in upland Canadian forests

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Forest floor data are important for many forest resource management applications. In terms of fire and forest carbon dynamics, these data are critical for modeling direct carbon emissions from wildfire in Canadian forests because forest floor organic material is usually the greatest emissions source. However, there are very few data available to initialize wildfire emission models. Six data sets representing 41 534 forest stands across Canada were combined to provide summary statistics and to analyze factors controlling forest floor fuel loads and depths. The impacts of dominant tree species, ecozone, drainage-class, and age-class data on forest floor fuel loads and depth were examined using ANOVA and regression. All four parameters were significant factors affecting forest floor fuel load and depth, but only tree species and ecozone were substantially influential. Although forest floor depths summarized in this study are similar to those of previous studies, forest floor fuel loads are higher. Average forest floor fuel loads and depths are summarized by species and ecozone and can be used to initialize dynamic stand-level forest models.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-08-01

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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