Resource Communication. Temporal optimization of fuel treatment design in blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) plantations

Ana Martin, Brigite Botequim, Tiago M. Oliveira, Alan Ager, Francesco Pirotti

Abstract


Aim of study: This study was conducted to support fire and forest management planning in eucalypt plantations based on economic, ecological and fire prevention criteria, with a focus on strategic prioritisation of fuel treatments over time. The central objective was to strategically locate fuel treatments to minimise losses from wildfire while meeting budget constraints and demands for wood supply for the pulp industry and conserving carbon.

Area of study: The study area was located in Serra do Socorro (Torres Vedras, Portugal, covering ~1449 ha) of predominantly Eucalyptus globulus Labill forests managedcultivated for pulpwood by The Navigator Company.

Material and methods: At each of four temporal stages (2015-2018-2021-2024) we simulated: (1) surface and canopy fuels, timber volume (m3 ha-1) and carbon storage (Mg ha-1); (2) fire behaviour characteristics, i.e. rate of spread (m min-1), and flame length (m), with FlamMap fire modelling software; (3) optimal treatment locations as determined by the Landscape Treatment Designer (LTD).

Main results: The higher pressure of fire behaviour in the earlier stages of the study period triggered most of the spatial fuel treatments within eucalypt plantations in a juvenile stage. At later stages fuel treatments also included shrublands areas. The results were consistent with observations and simulation results that show high fire hazard in juvenile eucalypt stands.

Research highlights: Forest management planning in commercial eucalypt plantations can potentially accomplish multiple objectives such as augmenting profits and sustaining ecological assets while reducing wildfire risk at landscape scale. However, limitations of simulation models including FlamMap and LTD are important to recognise in studies of long term wildfire management strategies.

Keywords: Eucalypt plantations; Fire hazard; FlamMap; fuel treatment optimisation; Landscape Treatment Designer; wildfire risk management.


Keywords


Eucalyptus plantations; Fire hazard; FlamMap; fuel treatment optimization; Landscape Treatment Designer; wildfire risk management.

Full Text:

PDF HTML XML

References


References

Agee JK, Skinner CN, 2005. Basic principles of forest fuel reduction treatments. Forest Ecol Manag 211(1-2): 83–96. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2005.01.034

Ager A, Vaillant N, Finney M, 2010. A comparison of landscape fuel treatment strategies to mitigate wildland fire risk in the urban interface and preserve old forest structure. Forest Ecol Manag 259: 1556–1570. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2010.01.032

Ager A, Vaillant N, Finney M, 2011. Integrating Fire Behavior Models and Geospatial Analysis for Wildland Fire Risk Assessment and Fuel Management Planning. J Combustion 2011: 1–19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/572452

Ager AA, Vaillant NM, Owens DE, Brittain S, Hamann J, 2012. Overview and example application of the Landscape Treatment Designer. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-859, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR.

Ager AA, Vaillant NM, McMahan A, 2013. Restoration of fire in managed forests: a model to prioritize landscapes and analyze tradeoffs. Ecosphere 4: 29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES13-00007.1

Ager AA, Day MA, McHugh CW, Short K, Gilbertson-Day J, Finney MA, Calkin DE, 2014a. Wildfire exposure and fuel management on western US national forests. J. Environ Manag 145: 54-70. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.05.035

Ager AA, Day MA, Finney MA, Vance-Borland K, Vaillant NM, 2014b. Analyzing the transmission of wildfire exposure on a fire-prone landscape in Oregon, USA. Forest Ecol Manag 334: 377-390. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2014.09.017

Alexander ME, Cruz MG, 2013. Are the applications of wildland fire behaviour models getting ahead of their evaluation again? Environ Modell Softw 41: 65- 71. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2012.11.001

Botequim B, Garcia-Gonzalo J, Marques S, Ricardo A, Borges JG, Tomé M, Oliveira MM, 2013. Developing wildfire risk probability models for Eucalyptus globulus stands in Portugal. iForest 6: 217-227.

Bradstock RA, Cary GJ, Davies I, Lindenmayer DB, Price OF, Williams RJ, 2012. Wildfires, fuel treatment and risk mitigation in Australian eucalypt forests: insights from landscape-scale simulation. J Environ Manag 105: 66–75. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.03.050

Cochrane M, Moran C, Wimberly M, Baer A, Finney M, Beckendorf K, Eidenshink J, Zhu Z, 2012. Estimation of wildfire size and risk changes due to fuels treatments. Int J Wildland Fire 21: 357-367. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF11079

Cruz MG, 2005. Guia fotográfico para identificação de combustíveis florestais Região Centro Portugal. Centro de Estudos sobre Incêndios Florestais. (p. 38). ADAI, Coimbra, Portugal.

Cruz MG, Viegas DX, 1998. Crown fuel dynamics in bluegum eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus Labill.) plantations fuel complex: Implications on extreme fire behavior phenomena. In Proceeding of 3rd International Conference on Forest Fire Research-14th Conference on Fire and Forest Meteorology, Luso-Coimbra, Portugal.16/20 November, pp. 2089–2109.

Cruz MG, Alexander ME, 2010. Assessing crown fire potential in coniferous forests of western North America: a critique of current approaches and recent simulation studies. Int J Wildland Fire 19: 377-398. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF08132

Duncker P, Barreiro S, Hengeveld GM, Lind T, Mason WL, Ambrozy S, Spiecker H 2012. Classification of forest management approaches: a new methodological framework and its applicability to Europan forestry. Ecology Society 17(4): 51. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-05262-170451

Ellis PF, 2000. The Aerodynamic and Combustion Characteristics of eucalypt bark. A Firebrand study. https://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/49422

Fernandes P, 2009. Combining forest structure data and fuel modelling to classify fire hazard in Portugal. Ann For Sci 66 (415). http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/forest/2009013

Fernandes P, Gonçalves H, Loureiro C, Fernandes M, Costa T, Cruz MG, Botelho H, 2009. Modelos de Combustível Florestal para Portugal. In Actas do 6o Congresso Florestal Nacional. SPCF, Lisboa, Portugal. pp. 348–354.

Fernandes PM, Loureiro C, Palheiro P, Vale-Gonçalves H, Fernandes M.M, Cruz MG, 2011. Fuels and fire hazard in blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) stands in Portugal Boletín del CIDEU 10: 53-61.

Fernandes PM, 2015. Empirical Support for the Use of Prescribed Burning as a Fuel Treatment. Current Forestry Reports 1(2): 118-127. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40725-015-0010-z

Ferreira L, Constantino MF, Borges G, Garcia-Gonzalo J, 2012. A Stochastic Dynamic Programming Approach to Optimize Short- Rotation Coppice Systems Management Scheduling : An Application to Eucalypt Plantations under Wildfire Risk in Portugal. Forest Science 58(4): 353–365. http://dx.doi.org/10.5849/forsci.10-084

Finney MA, 2006. An Overview of FlamMap Fire Modeling Capabilities. In Fuel Management-How to Measure Success: Conference Proceedings RMRS-P-41. 28-30 March, Portland, Oregon. pp. 213–220.

Finney MA, Seli RC, Mchugh CW, Ager AA, Bahro B, Agee JK, 2006. Simulation of Long-Term Landscape-Level Fuel Treatment Effects on Large Wildfires. In USDA Forest Service Proceeding RMRS-P-41, pp. 125–147.

Finney MA, Grenfell IC, McHugh CW, Seli RC, Trethewey D, Stratton RD, Brittain S, 2011. A method for ensemble wildland fire simulation. Environ Model Assess 16: 153-167. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10666-010-9241-3

Gabinete Técnico Florestal, 2015. Plano Municipal de Defesa da Floresta Contra Incêndios (PMDFCI) 2015-2019. Forest Fires Municipal Plan in Torres Vedras, 2015-2019. http://www.cm-tvedras.pt/assets/upload/documentos/2015/10/05/pmdfci_torres_vedras_2015_2019.pdf

Haas JR, Calkin DE, Thompson MP, 2015. Wildfire risk transmission in the Colorado Front Range, USA Risk Analysis 35(2): 226–240. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/risa.12270

ICNF, 2013. IFN6 - Áreas dos usos do solo e das espécies florestais de Portugal continental. Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas, Lisboa, Portugal, pp. 34.

Kalabokidis K, Palaiologou P, Finney M, 2013. Fire Behavior Simulation in Mediterranean Forests Using the Minimum Travel Time Algorithm. In Proceeding of 4th Fire Behavior and Fuel Conference (p. 25). Missoula, Montana, USA: Internat Ass Wildland Fire.

Marques S, Garcia-Gonzalo J, Borges JG, Botequim B, Oliveira MM, Tomé J, Tomé M, 2011. Developing post-fire Eucalyptus globulus Labill stand damage and tree mortality models for enhanced forest planning in Portugal. Silva Fenn 45(1): 69-83. http://dx.doi.org/10.14214/sf.32

Marques AL, Pacheco AP, Claro J, Oliveira TM, 2014. FIRE-ENGINE, from empirical studies to system design and policy. A cohesive tool set: aplicação ao município de Torres Vedras. p. 142.

Mateus P, Fernandes PM, 2014, Forest Fires in Portugal: Dynamics, Causes and Policies. In: Reboredo, F. Forest Context and Policies in Portugal, Present and Future Challenges. World Forests, Vol.19. Springer. Pp: 219-236.

Oliveira TM, Barros AM, Ager A, Fernandes P, 2016. Assessing the effect of a fuel break network to reduce burnt area and wildfire risk transmission, Int J Wildfire Fire 25(6): 619-632 . http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF15146

Pereira MG, Aranha, J, Amraoui M, 2014. Land cover fire proneness in Europe. Forest Systems, 23(3): 598–610. http://dx.doi.org/10.5424/fs/2014233-06115

Pinto A, Fernandes PM, Espinosa-Prieto J, Loureiro C, 2013. FIREglobulus: Experimental Study of Fire Behaviour and Effects in Blue Gum Plantations. Silva Lusitana. vol.21, Junho.

Raínha M, Fernandes, PM, 2002. Using the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) in the Natural Park of Montesinho, NE Portugal : calibration and application to fire management.

Salis M, Ager AA, Arca B, Bacciu V, Duce P, Spano D, 2013. Assessing exposure of human and ecological values to wildfire in Sardinia, Italy. Int J Wildland Fire 22: 549–565. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF11060

Salis M, Ager A, Finney M, Alcasena F, Arca B, Munoz O, Santoni P, Spano D, 2014. Application of simulation modeling for wildfire risk assessment and management. In VII International Conference on Forest Fire Research. (Ed. D Viegas.). http://dx.doi.org/10.14195/978-989-26-0884-6_181

Scott JH, Reinhardt ED, 2001. Assessing crown fire potential by linking models of surface and crown fire behavior. Research Paper RMRS–29. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA, p. 59.

Soares P, Tomé M, 2001. A tree crown ratio predicion equation for eucalypt plantations. Ann For Sci 58(2): 193-202. http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/forest:2001118

Soares P, Tomé M, Pereira JS, 2007. A produtividade do eucaliptal. In: Alves, A.M., Pereira, J.S., Silva, J.M.N. (Eds.), O Eucaliptal em Portugal – Impactes Ambientais e Investigação Científica. ISAPress, Lisbon, pp. 27–60.

Stratton RD, 2006. Guidance on Spatial Wildland Fire Analysis : Models , Tools , and Techniques. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-183. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

Tomé M, Oliveira T, Soares P, 2006. O modelo GLOBULUS 3. 0 dados e equações (p. 23). Universidade Técnica de Lisboa - Instituto Superior de Agronomia Departamento de Engenharia Florestal (Portugal).

Van Wagner CE, 1977. Conditions for the start and spread of crown fire. Can J For Res 7: 23-34. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/x77-004

Vogler, KC, Ager AA, Day MA, Jennings M, Bailey JD, 2015. Prioritization of forest restoration projects: tradeoffs between wildfire protection, ecological restoration and economic objectives. Forests, 6(12): 4403-4420. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/f6124375

Wei Y, Long Y, 2014. Schedule fuel treatments to fragment high fire hazard fuel patches. MCFNS, 6(1): 1–10.




DOI: 10.5424/fs/2016252-09293

Webpage: www.inia.es/Forestsystems