A new global archive of vegetation moisture content measurements

The susceptibility of vegetation to wildfire depends on its water content relative to its dry mass: the live fuel moisture content (LFMC). The higher the LFMC, the longer vegetation will take to ignite and for wildfire to spread. Not only is LFMC important in wildfire applications, but as a measure of plant water status, can be used in assessing plant drought stress, vegetation health, wildlife habitat suitability and agricultural crop watering practices.

Field sampling of LFMC is labour intensive, and so a comprehensive database of LFMC in time and space cannot feasibly be created by a single organisation. Instead, through an international effort to share and compile existing field observations, Globe-LFMC presents the most comprehensive archive of over 161 000 field measurements taken in 11 countries from 1977 to 2018.

The Globe-LFMC team have documented, georeferenced, cleaned and validated the field data, so you can easily download the data here and use it for yourself.

Paper: Yebra M. et al. Globe-LFMC, a global plant water status database for vegetation ecophysiology and wildfire applications. Scientific Data 6, 155 (2019).