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Evaluating the applicability of predicting dead fine fuel moisture based on the hourly Fine Fuel Moisture Code in the south-eastern Great Xing’an Mountains of China

Zhang, Jili, Cui, Xiaoyang, Wei, Rui, Huang, Yan, Di, Xueying
The International journal of wildland fire 2017 v.26 no.2 pp. 167-175
Larix gmelinii, Pinus sylvestris, Quercus, autumn, forest litter, forest stands, fuels, meteorological data, models, mountains, prediction, summer, China
To evaluate the applicability of the hourly Fine Fuel Moisture Code (FFMC) to the south-eastern Great Xing’an Mountains, dead fine fuel moisture (Mf) was observed under less-sheltered and sheltered conditions in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica), larch (Larix gmelinii) and oak (Quercus mongolicus) stands during the summer and autumn of 2014. Standard FFMC and locally calibrated FFMC values calculated hourly were tested using Mf observations and weather data, and the results showed that the Mf loss rate in the less-sheltered forest floor was markedly higher than that in the sheltered forest floor (P<0.05). The standard hourly FFMC underestimated Mf, especially in stands of larch, the dominant species in the Great Xing’an Mountains, and Mf for rainy days in Scots pine and oak stands. However, the calibrated hourly FFMC predicted Mf in all three forest stands very well (R2 ranged from 0.920 to 0.969; mean absolute errorfrom 2.93 to 6.93, and root-mean-squared errorfrom 4.09 to 7.87), which suggested that it was sufficiently robust for those stands around the observation period. This study will improve the accuracy of Mf predictions to aid fire control efforts in the Great Xing’an Mountains and provide a basis for hourly FFMC model calibration.