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Journal of Combustion
Volume 2014, Article ID 970218, 10 pages
Research Article

Testing Vegetation Flammability: The Problem of Extremely Low Ignition Frequency and Overall Flammability Score

1Institute of Landscape and Plant Ecology, University of Hohenheim, August-von-Hartmann Straße 3, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
2Department of Forest Ecology and Silviculture, Faculty of Forestry, University of Zagreb, Svetošimunska 25, 10002 Zagreb, Croatia

Received 30 January 2014; Accepted 11 June 2014; Published 26 June 2014

Academic Editor: Michael A. Delichatsios

Copyright © 2014 Zorica Kauf et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the recent decades changes in fire regimes led to higher vulnerability of fire prone ecosystems, with vegetation being the only component influencing fire regime which can be managed in order to reduce probability of extreme fire events. For these management practices to be effective reliable information on the vegetation flammability is being crucial. Epiradiator based testing methods are one of the methods commonly used to investigate vegetation flammability and decrease in ignition frequency is always interpreted as a decrease in flammability. Furthermore, gathered information is often combined into a single flammability score. Here we present results of leaf litter testing which, together with previously conducted research on similar materials, show that material with very low ignition frequency under certain testing conditions can be extremely flammable if testing conditions are slightly changed. Additionally, our results indicate that combining measured information into one single flammability score, even though sometimes useful, is not always meaningful and should be performed with caution.