Estimating canopy fuel characteristics in five conifer stands in the western United States using tree and stand measurements
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Elizabeth D. Reinhardt; Joe H. Scott; Kathy L. Gray; Robert E. Keane II
Publication Year: 2006

Cataloging Information

  • Abies concolor
  • biomass
  • Bob Marshall Wilderness
  • Calocedrus decurrens
  • canopy fuel load
  • cones
  • coniferous forests
  • conifers
  • crown fires
  • diameter classes
  • distribution
  • Douglas-fir
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire management
  • fire sensitive plants
  • foliage
  • forest management
  • fuel loading
  • fuel management
  • fuel types
  • lodgepole pine
  • Montana
  • overstory
  • Pinus contorta
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • ponderosa pine
  • population density
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • size classes
  • statistical analysis
  • trees
  • western United States
  • wilderness
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: October 26, 2020
FRAMES Record Number: 4979
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21180
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-C
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.


Assessment of crown fire potential requires quantification of canopy fuels. In this study, canopy fuels were measured destructively on plots in five Interior West conifer stands. Observed canopy bulk density, canopy fuel load, and vertical profiles of canopy fuels are compared with those estimated from stand data using several computational techniques. An allometric approach to estimating these canopy fuel characteristics was useful, but, for accuracy, estimates of vertical biomass distribution and site-adjustment factors were required. Available crown fuel was estimated separately for each tree according to species, diameter, and crown class. The vertical distribution of this fuel was then modeled within each tree crown on the basis of tree height and crown base height. Summing across trees within the stand at every height yielded an estimated vertical profile of canopy fuel that approximated the observed distribution.

Online Link(s):
Reinhardt, Elizabeth D.; Scott, Joe H.; Gray, Kathy L.; Keane, Robert E. 2006. Estimating canopy fuel characteristics in five conifer stands in the western United States using tree and stand measurements. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36(11):2803-2814.