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International Journal of Wildland Fire
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 Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Flammability of litter sampled according to two different methods: comparison of results in laboratory experiments.

Anne Ganteaume, Marielle Jappiot, Thomas Curt, Corinne Lampin, Laurent Borgniet


In the laboratory, different types of litter samples (constructed vs intact) can be used in flammability experiments but the sampling method of these litters could affect litter flammability results. To assess this effect, samples of litters were collected in Southeastern France, according to two different methods previously used in other studies, one keeping intact the structure of the litter layers (non-constructed litter) and the other requiring the construction of the litter, using mainly the surface litter layer (constructed litter). The comparison of flammability results showed that the sampling method had a significant effect on litter bulk-density, rate of spread and rate of consumption, intact litter being more flammable than reconstructed litter which was artificially compacted. The type of vegetation had a significant effect on litter depth, ignitability, sustainability, consumability and combustibility (except on rate of spread) and the litter composition could explain in part this fire behaviour. The effect of the construction of litters on flammability parameters and its magnitude also differed according to vegetation types. Intact litter structure appeared to be an important driver of its flammability, especially of combustibility and consumability. The assessment of these flammability components will differ when using constructed litter samples instead of intact litter samples, especially according to vegetation types. Future research on litter flammability should take into account the bias due to the litter sampling method when the litter is constructed.

WF13045  Accepted 24 February 2014
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