The effect of soil water on Aspen litter moisture content
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): R. L. Rothwell; P. M. Woodard; S. Samran
Publication Year: 1994

Cataloging Information

  • Alberta
  • combustion
  • computer programs
  • fire danger rating
  • fire suppression
  • flammability
  • fuel moisture
  • humus
  • litter
  • moisture
  • Populus
  • soils
  • water
  • wilderness fire management
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 34838
Tall Timbers Record Number: 9117
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Ground fuels in aspen forests of central Alberta even after considerable periods of dry weather are moist and do not easily ignite, nor sustain combustion. It was hypothesized that low flammability of aspen ground fuels is significantly affected by capillary soil water flow from underlying inorganic soils. Paired measures of litter moisture content and soil water content were obtained using fiberglass moisture units installed above and below the soil-litter interface. Desorption curves for litter and soil were also constructed. Analysis of data showed soil water contents were usually greater than the litter humus layer, and soil water potentials were greater than those of litter. Results supported the hypothesis but further work is needed to assess the evaporative fluxes under different canopy conditions. © by the Society of American Foresters. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Online Link(s):
Rothwell, R. L., P. M. Woodard, and S. Samran. 1994. The effect of soil water on Aspen litter moisture content, Missoula, Montana. p. 117-123,