iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry

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.


Wildfire, Fire Behavior, Simulation, Fuel Types, Emissions

Authors’ address

Davide Ascoli 0000-0002-0546-4467
Simone Meytre
Costantino Sirca 0000-0001-7605-5700
Dept. of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences, University of Torino, l.go Paolo Braccini 4, Grugliasco, TO (Italy)
Giorgio Vacchiano 0000-0001-8100-0659
Costantino Sirca 0000-0001-7605-5700
Dept. of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Milano, v. Celoria 2, Milano (Italy)
Anna Barbati 0000-0002-9064-0903
Dept. for Innovation in Biological, Agro-food and Forest systems, University of Tuscia, v. S. Camillo de Lellis snc, VT (Italy)
Giovanna Battipaglia 0000-0003-1741-3509
Assunta Esposito 0000-0003-2937-7373
Dept. of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, v. Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta (Italy)
Mario Elia 0000-0003-4382-2752
Paola Mairota 0000-0002-0989-419X
Dept. of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Bari “A. Moro”, v. Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari (Italy)
Vittorio Garfì 0000-0002-6980-2920
Marco Marchetti 0000-0002-5275-5769
Marco Ottaviano 0000-0002-8891-8814
Lorenzo Sallustio 0000-0001-9204-5123
Dept. of Biosciences and Territory, University of Molise, c.da Fonte Lappone, Pesche, IS (Italy)
Raffaella Lovreglio 0000-0003-4774-7315
Nuoro Forestry School, Dept. of Agriculture, University of Sassari, v. Cristoforo Colombo 1, I-08100 Nuoro (Italy)
Enrico Marchi 0000-0001-6485-7044
Dept. of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry, University of Florence, v. S. Bonaventura 13, 50145 Firenze (Italy)
Rolando Rizzolo
Direzione Protezione Civile e Polizia locale, Regione Veneto, Marghera, VE (Italy)
Costantino Sirca 0000-0001-7605-5700
University of Sassari, Dip.to di Agraria, Sassari (Italy)
Costantino Sirca 0000-0001-7605-5700
Valentina Bacciu 0000-0002-2361-1416
Fondazione Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC) - IAFES Division, Sassari (Italy)
Eva Valese
Independent researcher, Agricultural High School “Duca degli Abruzzi”, v. Merlin 1, Padova (Italy)

Corresponding author

Giorgio Vacchiano


Ascoli D, Vacchiano G, Scarpa C, Arca B, Barbati A, Battipaglia G, Elia M, Esposito A, Garfì 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 (2020). Harmonized dataset of surface fuels under Alpine, temperate and Mediterranean conditions in Italy. A synthesis supporting fire management. iForest 13: 513-522. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3587-013

Academic Editor

Francisco Lloret Maya

Paper history

Received: Jul 15, 2020
Accepted: Oct 26, 2020

First online: Nov 13, 2020
Publication Date: Dec 31, 2020
Publication Time: 0.60 months

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