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Foliar moisture contents of North American conifers

Author(s): Christopher R. Keyes
Year Published: 2006

Foliar moisture content (FMC) is a primary factor in the canopy ignition process as surface fire transitions to crown fire. In combination with measured stand data and assumed environmental conditions, reasonable estimates of foliar moisture content are necessary to determine and justify silvicultural targets for canopy fuels management strategies. FMC values reported in research publications are best used for this purpose. This paper summarizes the results of 11 studies on the FMC values and trends for 16 North American conifers. FMC values ranged from 73 to 480 percent but varied by species, foliage age, and season. FMC values presented here and the references associated with them will be helpful to managers engaging in canopy fuels planning with the use of popular fire behavior and fuels management software (e.g. NEXUS, Fuels Management Analyst, and the Forest Vegetation Simulator's Fire and Fuels Extension).

Citation: Keyes, Christopher R. 2006. Foliar moisture contents of North American conifers. In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. Fuels management-how to measure success: conference proceedings. 2006 March 28-30; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 395-399.
Topic(s): Fuels, Fuel Descriptions
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Conference Proceedings, Synthesis
NRFSN number: 11014
FRAMES RCS number: 7388
Record updated: Jun 19, 2018