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Project ID: 10-1-01-16

Year: 2010

Date Started: 06/01/2010

Date Completed: 11/01/2013

Title: Characterization of Masticated Fuelbeds and Fuel Treatment Effectiveness in Southeastern US Pine Ecosystems

Project Proposal Abstract: There is little documentation of fuel treatment effectiveness in the southeastern (SE) US, and virtually none in southern wildland-urban-interface (WUI), although the legacy of treatments, particularly prescribed burning, is unparalleled. The majority of pinelands across the SE US Coastal Plain are characterized by short fire return intervals, ranging from 1-3 years for pine uplands, flatwoods, and sandhill communities. Whether wildfire risk is mitigated by mechanical fuel reduction techniques in these systems is closely tied to pre-treatment conditions and post-treatment prescribed fire use, but has not yet been tested. The SE Region, with an average of 2-3 million ha fuels treated annually, presents a compelling opportunity to quantify the effectiveness of mastication for reduction of potential wildfire behavior, and to explore additional ecological repercussions including those on vegetation composition and biomass. In particular, the extensive fuels reduction treatments planned for the WUI of Floridas National Forests should be evaluated to determine whether the risk reduction and ecosystem repercussions meet overall management objectives. We propose to characterize masticated fuelbeds in Floridas WUI pine flatwoods, as this forest type is widespread across the Coastal Plain and represents the most frequently fuels-treated vegetation in Floridas National and State Forests. Our study design compares four treatment scenarios: mastication alone, mastication plus prescribed fire, repeated mastication, and control, across two vegetation structures: mature forests burned within the last three years, and unburned mature pine forests. By characterizing treatment effects on vegetation, masticated fuels, and both actual and potential fire, we will examine not only treatment effectiveness, but assess how the unique features of masticated fuelbeds impact fire behavior and effects. Our quantification of vegetative biomass translocations and recovery will expand the impact of our research by providing data for future analyses of the carbon consequences and economic viability of these fuel treatments.

Principal Investigator: Leda N. Kobziar

Agency/Organization: University of Idaho

Branch or Dept: College of Natural Resources

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Alan J. Long

University of Florida

School of Forest Resources & Conservation

Co-Principal Investigator

Wayne C Zipperer

Forest Service

SRS-Ctr for Southern WUI Research & Information

Federal Cooperator

Carl J. Petrick

Forest Service

National Forests in Alabama

Federal Fiscal Representative

Shelly M. Gates

Forest Service

SRS-Southern Research Station

Student Investigator

Jesse K. Kreye

Mississippi State University

Department of Forestry

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network









Osceola National Forest

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print go to website 96 Ph.D. Dissertation Efficacy and Ecological Effects of Mechanical Fuel Treatments in Pine Flatwoods Ecosystems of Florid
view or print   1463 Government Publication Mechanical Fuels Reduction Treatments Effects on Fire Behavior, Fuel Loads, and Forest Ecology
view or print   3344 Journal Article International Journal of Wildland Fire
view or print   3690 Poster Mechanical Mastication as a Fuels Treatment Method in Pine Flatwoods
view or print   3691 Poster Above and Below Ground Heating From the Burning of Masticated Palmetto-Gallberry Fuel Beds
view or print   7338 Poster Altered Fire Behavior & Effects Following Mastication in Pine Flatwoods Ecosystems
  go to website 4433 Field Demonstration/Tour Overview: A Tour and Discussion of New Research Conducted at the Osceola National Forest

Supporting Documents

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