Fire and organic soils: burning characteristics and biotic effects [abstract]
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): R. D. Hungerford; W. H. Frandsen; K. C. Ryan
Editor(s): S. Cerulean; R. T. Engstrom
Publication Year: 1995

Cataloging Information

  • combustion
  • fire management
  • heat
  • ignition
  • laboratory fires
  • Michigan
  • moisture
  • North Carolina
  • organic soils
  • regeneration
  • soils
  • wetlands
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 35768
Tall Timbers Record Number: 10095
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Tall Timbers shelf
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.


An integrated study to define fire relationships in wetland soils is described The objectives are to define the limits to combustion (ignition and burnout), model heat and vapor transport, and predict fire effects in organic soils. The goal is to develop models to predict the potential impacts of fire on organic soils from a wide range of wetland ecosystems. The study involves both laboratory experiments and field validation phases. Soil physical properties affecting combustion and heat transfer are quantified. Standard laboratory ignition tests are used to extend existing combustion limits models to wetland soils. Moisture and mineral contents are varied to determine and model the limits to ignition and combustion sustainability under conditions typically found throughout the hydroperiod. Controlled burning of large soil cores (0.022 m3) from wetlands in North Carolina, Alaska, and Michigan is used to validate combustion limits and measure heat and vapor transport, and nutrient fluxes. These data are used to extend an existing heat and vapor transport model to organic soils. Heat transfer is coupled with descriptions of plant morphology, rooting depth etc. to predict plant survival and regeneration. Analysis of the dependence of combustion and heat transfer on soil physical properties will be used to assess the range of wetland ecosystems to which models can be applied. Field burns are planned for 1993 and 1994 to validate ignition, burnout, heat transfer, and fire effects models.

Hungerford, R. D., W. H. Frandsen, and K. C. Ryan. 1995. Fire and organic soils: burning characteristics and biotic effects [abstract], in Cerulean, S. and Engstrom, R. T., Proceedings 19th Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference. Fire in wetlands: a management perspective. Tallahassee, FL. Tall Timbers Research, Inc.,Tallahassee, FL. p. 166,