WOOD STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION (S HIZIROGLU, SECTION EDITOR)
Moisture Content in Forest Residues: an Insight on Sampling
Methods and Procedures
Anil Raj Kizha
Published online: 26 April 2017
Springer International Publishing AG 2017
Purpose of Review Taking moisture content samples from
forest residue stack piles has been a challenge due to numer-
ous factors such as varying shapes of piles, difference in ma-
terial types, and financial constraint of the research.
Additionally, there has been no standard sampling procedure
set for the task encompassing the various constraints, especial-
ly in-wood conditions. For these reasons, samples taken from
forest residue piles may not accurately represent the average
moisture content of the population. This study attempts to
classify the sampling methods commonly used for measuring
moisture contents of forest residue piles for scientific research.
Recent Finding We reviewed over 28 studies focusing on
moisture content in forest residues to develop four general
sampling methods, namely weighing stack piles, weight from
scale ticket, fixed location sampling, and transect sampling.
Advantages and limitations for each sampling method along
with the type of data generated from each were described in
detail. For example, weighing stack piles provided the most
accurate form of continuous data, but could not be used for in-
wood conditions and was usually limited to small pile struc-
tures. On the other hand, fixed location sampling and transect
sampling would be preferred in field experiments and could
detect moisture content variation within layers of the pile.
Attempts were also made to determine the situations in which
each of these sampling methods could be adopted.
Summary This study could assist researchers set up their ex-
perimental designs and provide insight for handling potential
challenges during data collection.
With recent trends to incorporate more renewable options into
energy portfolios, forest residues generated from timber har-
vesting operations have been gaining increasing significance
as a valuable feedstock source for bioenergy production.
Around 11 million acres of timberland are harvested annually
in the USA generating approximately 162 million dry ton of
forest residues, which accounts for about 2.01 × 10e
renewable energy [1, 2]. Woody biomass in the form of forest
residues for energy production comes primarily from sources
such as timber harvests, forest restorations, and fuel reduction
Forest residues can be classified based on the forms of
storage, material types, and arrangement patterns. It is com-
mon for forest residues destined for bioenergy production to
be temporarily stacked either in open or under roofed condi-
tions. While left open, the storage could be either in-woods or
in the yards of power plants. Stack piles are often covered with
paper or plastic to protect them from rain or snow. Forest
residues can also be left at the harvest site, unstacked over
long periods for drying, referred to as scattered [3, 4].
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Wood Structure and
* Anil Raj Kizha
School of Forest Resources, University of Maine,
Orono, Maine 04469, USA
Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources, Humboldt State
University, Arcata, California 95521, USA
Curr Forestry Rep (2017) 3:202–212