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Pacific Southwest Research Station
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Albany, CA 94710-0011
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Title: Radiation effects on moisture variation in ponderosa pine litter
Author: Countryman, Clive M.
Source: Res. Pap. PSW-RP-126. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 23 p
Station ID: RP-PSW-126
Description: This exploratory study indicated that considerable variation in the moisture content of litter can occur within short horizontal distances. The variations ere found to be caused primarily by differences in the amount of solar radiation received by the litter and in the degree of cooling by radiation at night. Because actual fuel moisture lags behind equilibrium moisture, the history of the previous exposure of an area to solar radiation is more important in determining the litter moisture at any given time than the conditions at that time. The variations were affected by timber stand characteristics, time of day and year, and moisture content of the soil and litter. The findings have important implications for the design of moisture content sampling procedures in studies of fire behavior and for the application of fire behavior information in fire danger rating, firefighting, prescribed fire, and other field activities.
Key Words: Pinus ponderosa, surface fuels, litter, fuel moisture content, solar radiation
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Countryman, Clive M. 1977. Radiation effects on moisture variation in ponderosa pine litter Res. Pap. PSW-RP-126. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 23 p.
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