Following the meeting between Matt, Peter, and Tom in Burnley, the plans to collaborate further on the MoistuRISER project with RISERnet have developed into three key stages.
Stage 1 will studying the impact of vegetation on within-forest microclimate. The canopy cover of forest is recognised as a crucial factor of within-forest microclimate. But the impact of undergrowth on within-forest microclimate is not clearly understood. The RISERnet networks in Olinda and Powelltown have been monitoring fine-grained within-forest microclimate for several months. In order to enable the exploration of the impact of undergrowth, Tom will take field measurements of vegetation conditions in Olinda and Powelltown.
Stage 2 will validate the accuracy of sensing fuel moisture content using the fuel moisture probe and fuel temperature probe. The RISERnet network in Powelltown will be moved to the Burnley campus (see below) to test the accuracy and reliability of the fuel moisture probe and fuel temperature probe. We will also investigate the source of errors and try to minimise the errors as much as possible. In the meanwhile, we will also improve the robustness of the network.
Finally, stage 3 will involve collaborating with DELWP on sensing fuel moisture content in Powelltown and on sensing the microenvironment near planned controlled burn. After the test in Burnley, the network will be returned to Powelltown in September to monitor the microclimate and fuel conditions near the controlled burn planned by DELWP. Collaborating with DELWP, we will continue the MoistuRISER project. We will also investigate the effect of fuel moisture content on the controlled burn, and the impact of fire on the nearby microclimate.