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Selected Publication:

Diószegi, G; Immitzer, M; Müller, MM; Vacik, H.
(2023): Effects of interaction between forest structure and precipitation event characteristics on fuel moisture conditions
AGR FOREST METEOROL. 2023; 342, 109681 FullText FullText_BOKU

Estimating forest fire danger is of primary concern for the Austrian forest fire management. The fine fuel moisture code (FFMC) of the Canadian Fire Weather Index (CFWI) is used for determining ignition danger. The FFMC is calculated by using the Integrated Nowcasting through Comprehensive Analysis (INCA) system, which provides interpolated weather parameters, available at 1 km(2) spatial resolution. Automated fuel sticks were used for measuring microclimate-defined moisture content from 2018 to 2020 in two differently structured sites: closed forest and forest gap. A remotely automated weather station (RAWS) measured the meteorological parameters of the research area. First, the capability of an interpolated large-scale FFMC to capture local moisture conditions was studied. Second, the effects of an interaction between forest structure and precipitation event characteristics on moisture content behaviour were investigated. Bayesian-based techniques in dependence of the three consecutive years were applied. Our results show that the correlations between INCA FFMC and RAWS FFMC are high (0.80-0.95) and INCA FFMC is capable of capturing the local microclimatic variations (0.68-0.78). Correlations ranging from 0.74 to 0.86 were evidenced between the fuel stick FFMC values of the forest and the gap, revealing that INCA FFMC cannot capture the microclimate induced differences between the two forest conditions. We found that: (i) the buffering capability of forest structure slows the absorption rate by 1.8 to 3.4%/h, (ii) absorption rate difference between the forest and the gap was lowest (1.8%/h) in the case of short and heavy rain, (iii) during the desorption phase the moisture content remained similar for both the closed forest and the gap. Overall, the structure induced buffering capability was strongest in the case of short and light rain. Longer and more intensive precipitation events, especially after canopy saturation during throughfall, are likely to lessen the buffering capability of the forest.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Immitzer Markus
Müller Mortimer
Vacik Harald

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Forest structure
Fine fuel moisture content
Fine fuel moisture code
Fuel stick
Remotely automated weather station
Bayesian mixed-effects model

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