Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science - Forestry



First Advisor

Dr. Brian P. Oswald

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeremy P. Stovall

Third Advisor

Dr. Hans M. Williams


The changing climate in the Netherlands has created the need to better understand how the forested communities and their structures will be affected by fire and to better estimate the impact of those fires. This study is part of a continuing collaboration between the Stephen F. Austin State University’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture and the Instittut Fysieke Veiligheid to assess fuel loads in the Netherlands to develop and improve models to estimate fire behavior. Data to estimate canopy bulk density for modelling canopy fire behavior were collected in the Netherlands for Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), and black pine (Pinus nigra Arn.) to be used in fire models estimating canopy fire behavior in that country. Leaf area index, gap fraction, and canopy bulk density were estimated using hemispherical photography, LI-COR LAI 2200c Plant Canopy Analyzer, spherical densiometer and allometeric methods. The crown allometry data collected was species, density (trees per ha), condition (live vs. dead), diameter breast height (DBH), height, and height to live crown base and canopy cover.

Using SAS 9.3, statistical analyses were run employing one-way and two-way ANOVAs, Proc GLM, and a post-hoc Tukey test. Analysis of gap fraction found Scots pine and black pine were similar, but both were significantly different that Douglas-Fir. The gap fraction tests also found that between methods, data collected by the LI-COR and densiometer were similar but were both significantly different than the hemispherical photography. The analysis of leaf area index found no significant difference between species but there was a significant difference between the leaf area indexes calculated by the two methods. There was no significant difference in the canopy bulk density between species. The LAI values from the hemiphoto and LI-COR were compared to those of other studies. Previous black pine and Douglas-fir LAIs were more similar to the hemiphoto than the LI-COR, but Scots pine was more similar to the LAI from the LI-COR. There was a large range in the LAI depending on the stand density at each site.

Continued research over a larger area should be pursued to increase the amount of data the Dutch fire spread models will have to use in the estimation of wild fire behavior. These results could be used to create a strong correlation between gap fraction and canopy bulk density for multiple sites, as well as one for leaf area index and canopy bulk density. Future destructive sampling would allow confirmation of the estimated LAI and CBD for the species.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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