Disentangling effects of key coarse woody debris fuel properties on its combustion, consumption and carbon gas emissions during experimental laboratory fire

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Coarse woody debris is a key terrestrial carbon pool, and its turnover through fire plays a fundamental role in global carbon cycling. Coarse dead wood fuel properties, which vary between tree species and wood decay stages, might affect its combustion, consumption and carbon gas emissions during fire, either directly or indirectly through interacting with moisture or ground-wood contact. Using controlled laboratory burns, we tried to disentangle the effects of multiple biotic and abiotic factors: tree species (one conifer and three hard wood species), wood decay stages, moisture content, and ground-wood contact on coarse wood combustion, consumption, and CO2 and CO emissions during fire. Wood density was measured for all samples. We found that, compared to the other tested factors, wood decay stages acted as a predominant positive driver increasing coarse wood flammability and associated CO2 and CO emissions during fire. Wood moisture content (30 versus 7%) moderately inhibited wood flammability with slight interaction with wood decay effects. Wood decay effects can be mainly attributed to the decreasing wood density as wood becomes more decomposed. Our experimental data provides useful information for how several wood properties, especially moisture content and wood decay stages, with wood density as the key underlying trait, together drive coarse wood carbon turnover through fire to the atmosphere. Our results will help to improve the predictive power of global vegetation climate models on dead wood turnover and its feedback to climate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-288
Number of pages14
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Volume427
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

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gas emissions
coarse woody debris
combustion
decayed wood
carbon
gas
wood density
flammability
dead wood
water content
wood moisture
effect
consumption
laboratory
wood properties
climate models
moisture content
turnover
carbon sinks
conifers

Keywords

  • Carbon cycling
  • Greenhouse gas
  • Plant species
  • Wood combustion
  • Wood decomposition
  • Wood density

Cite this

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title = "Disentangling effects of key coarse woody debris fuel properties on its combustion, consumption and carbon gas emissions during experimental laboratory fire",
abstract = "Coarse woody debris is a key terrestrial carbon pool, and its turnover through fire plays a fundamental role in global carbon cycling. Coarse dead wood fuel properties, which vary between tree species and wood decay stages, might affect its combustion, consumption and carbon gas emissions during fire, either directly or indirectly through interacting with moisture or ground-wood contact. Using controlled laboratory burns, we tried to disentangle the effects of multiple biotic and abiotic factors: tree species (one conifer and three hard wood species), wood decay stages, moisture content, and ground-wood contact on coarse wood combustion, consumption, and CO2 and CO emissions during fire. Wood density was measured for all samples. We found that, compared to the other tested factors, wood decay stages acted as a predominant positive driver increasing coarse wood flammability and associated CO2 and CO emissions during fire. Wood moisture content (30 versus 7{\%}) moderately inhibited wood flammability with slight interaction with wood decay effects. Wood decay effects can be mainly attributed to the decreasing wood density as wood becomes more decomposed. Our experimental data provides useful information for how several wood properties, especially moisture content and wood decay stages, with wood density as the key underlying trait, together drive coarse wood carbon turnover through fire to the atmosphere. Our results will help to improve the predictive power of global vegetation climate models on dead wood turnover and its feedback to climate.",
keywords = "Carbon cycling, Greenhouse gas, Plant species, Wood combustion, Wood decomposition, Wood density",
author = "Weiwei Zhao and {van Logtestijn}, {Richard S.P.} and {van der Werf}, {Guido R.} and {van Hal}, {Jurgen R.} and Cornelissen, {Johannes H.C.}",
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AU - van Logtestijn, Richard S.P.

AU - van der Werf, Guido R.

AU - van Hal, Jurgen R.

AU - Cornelissen, Johannes H.C.

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N2 - Coarse woody debris is a key terrestrial carbon pool, and its turnover through fire plays a fundamental role in global carbon cycling. Coarse dead wood fuel properties, which vary between tree species and wood decay stages, might affect its combustion, consumption and carbon gas emissions during fire, either directly or indirectly through interacting with moisture or ground-wood contact. Using controlled laboratory burns, we tried to disentangle the effects of multiple biotic and abiotic factors: tree species (one conifer and three hard wood species), wood decay stages, moisture content, and ground-wood contact on coarse wood combustion, consumption, and CO2 and CO emissions during fire. Wood density was measured for all samples. We found that, compared to the other tested factors, wood decay stages acted as a predominant positive driver increasing coarse wood flammability and associated CO2 and CO emissions during fire. Wood moisture content (30 versus 7%) moderately inhibited wood flammability with slight interaction with wood decay effects. Wood decay effects can be mainly attributed to the decreasing wood density as wood becomes more decomposed. Our experimental data provides useful information for how several wood properties, especially moisture content and wood decay stages, with wood density as the key underlying trait, together drive coarse wood carbon turnover through fire to the atmosphere. Our results will help to improve the predictive power of global vegetation climate models on dead wood turnover and its feedback to climate.

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