Surface biomass characterization plays a key role in wildfire management. It allows classifying vegetation fuels flammability for fire risk analysis, to define silvicultural prescriptions for fire hazard reduction, to plan prescribed burning, or to model fire behavior and its effects, such as greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions. To facilitate fuel classification and analysis of potential fire behavior and effects in Italy, we harmonized 634 measurements of surface wildland fuels from Alpine, temperate and Mediterranean environments. The dataset provides quantitative data for duff, fine dead fuels and downed woody material, live grasses and shrubs fuel components. Surface fuel data were harmonized by subdividing loads (Mg ha-1) to standard size classes for dead (0-6, 6-25 and 25-75 mm) and live (0-6, 6-25 mm) fuels, collecting percent cover and depth/height (cm) of the various fuel components, and classifying observations into 19 fuelbed categories. To ensure comparability with existing vegetation classification systems, we classified each observation according to the European Fuel Map, the Corine Land Cover classes (level IV), the European Forest Types, and the forest categories of the Italian National Forest Inventory. The dataset and a photo description of each fuelbed category are available as Supplementary material. This dataset is the first step to develop several products at the national scale such as: (i) fuel type classification and mapping; (ii) carbon stock and wildfire emission estimates; (iii) calibration of fuel models for the simulation of fire behavior and effects.
Harmonized dataset of surface fuels under alpine, temperate and mediterranean conditions in Italy. A synthesis supporting fire management / Ascoli, D.; Vacchiano, G.; Scarpa, C.; Arca, B.; Barbati, A.; Battipaglia, G.; Elia, M.; Esposito, A.; Garfi, V.; Lovreglio, R.; Mairota, P.; Marchetti, M.; Marchi, E.; Meytre, S.; Ottaviano, M.; Pellizzaro, G.; Rizzolo, R.; Sallustio, L.; Salis, M.; Sirca, C.; Valese, E.; Ventura, A.; Bacciu, V.. - In: IFOREST. - ISSN 1971-7458. - 13:6(2020), pp. 513-522. [10.3832/ifor3587-013]