While working on my master’s thesis, I needed to estimate fuel loads (biomass per unit area of duff, litter, sticks, and logs) from Brown’s Transects data (depth of litter and duff, tallies of sticks and logs). This is a common step in analyzing fuels data, and the Stephens Lab had an established method for doing so based on existing
research. However, the implementation of the estimation method was built around a complicated Excel workbook.

As part of my master’s work, I implemented this biomass conversion in R to enhance the transparency and reproducibility of the analysis. The Rfuels package makes that work publicly available for use by other researchers. See the detailed package readme for instructions on installing and using the package.

Today, the Rfuels package is a go-to resource for Berkeley fire ecologists, and it has facilitated work for several papers, including:

Moore, Ian B., et al. “Variability in wildland fuel patches following high-severity fire and post-fire treatments in the northern Sierra Nevada.” International Journal of Wildland Fire 30.12 (2021): 921-932. https://doi.org/10.1071/WF20131

York, Robert A., et al. “Opportunities for winter prescribed burning in mixed conifer plantations of the Sierra Nevada.” Fire Ecology 17.1 (2021): 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1186/s42408-021-00120-5

Low, Kathryn E., et al. “Longer-term impacts of fuel reduction treatments on forest structure, fuels, and drought resistance in the Lake Tahoe Basin.” Forest Ecology and Management 479 (2021): 118609. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118609

Murphy, Julia S., et al. “Characteristics and metrics of resilient forests in the Sierra de San Pedro Martír, Mexico.” Forest Ecology and Management 482 (2021): 118864. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118864

Levine, Jacob I., et al. “Forest stand and site characteristics influence fuel consumption in repeat prescribed burns.” International Journal of Wildland Fire 29.2 (2020): 148-159. https://doi.org/10.1071/WF19043