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The Influence of Soil Moisture on Eucalyptus Leaf Litter Moisture

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An experiment was carried out to test the assumption that surface soil moisture affects fine dead fuel moisture. A randomized block design was used to test the response in Eucalyptus leaf moisture to two levels of soil moisture over a range of exposures to the sun, wind, and soil surface. Soil moisture clearly influenced daily leaf fuel moisture minima and maxima. The effect on daily minima was most pronounced for the bottom of the litter layer, which was shielded from the sun and wind and in contact with the soil. The effect of soil moisture on daily fuel moisture maxima was most pronounced for exposed samples. The responses in fuel moisture due to exposure and soil moisture were compared with fine fuel moistures predicted by three fuel moisture models. The various treatment combinations of soil moisture and exposure produced fuel moistures that varied too widely for any of the tested fuel moisture models to be consistently most accurate. For. Sci. 34(2):292-301.
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Keywords: Eucalyptus; fire behavior; fuel moisture; soil moisture

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Mathematics Department, University College, University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy, Campbell, A.C.T., Australia 2600

Publication date: 1988-06-01

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    Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
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