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Comparative Study of the Aerial Structure of Five Shrubs of Mediterranean Shrublands

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Each year hundreds of thousands of hectares of forests and shrublands are destroyed by wildfires in countries of the western part of the Mediterranean Basin (France, Italy, Spain). Structural canopy components influencing flammability and fire behavior were studied for five Mediterranean shrub species. For each species, total fuel loading, available fuel loading, and vertical distribution of different fuel particles [leaves, twigs of different diameter classes (alive or dead) and stratas] were estimated in a 30-yr-old shrubland. Live to dead fuel ratio, size distribution, and porosity were calculated and compared. The results revealed three groups of species with regard to the fire hazard they present. They are, from the lowest to the highest hazard: (1) Cistus salvifolius, Pistacia lentiscus, and Rosmarinus officinalis with low fuel loadings, (2) Phillyrea angustifolia with high fuel loadings and the highest porosity, and (3) Genista scorpius having the highest fine fuel loading and dead material values. For. Sci. 37(1):146-159.

Keywords: Canopy fuel loading; dead-to-live fuel ratio; fire behavior; fire risk; flammability; fuel loading; fuel particle distribution

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionelle et Evolutive C.E.P.E. Louis Emberger, Route de Mende, B.P. 5051, 34033 Montpellier Cedex (France)

Publication date: 1991-03-01

More about this publication?
  • 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.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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