The occurrence and behavior of forest fires are mainly affected by litter moisture content, which is very important for fire risk forecasting. Errors in models of litter moisture content prediction mainly stem from the neglect of diurnal variation. Consequently, it is essential to determine the diurnal variation of litter moisture content and establish a high-precision prediction model. In this study, the moisture contents of litters of Mongolian oak (Quercus mongolica
) and Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis
) were monitored at 1 h time steps to obtain the diurnal variations of moisture content, and two direct estimation (Nelson and Simard) methods as well as one meteorological factor regression method were selected to establish prediction models at 1 h time steps. The moisture contents of the two litter types showed obvious diurnal variation, and the changes were significantly correlated with the air temperature and relative humidity. The wind speed had no significant effect on the change within 1 h. The mean absolute error (MAE) values of the three prediction models of Mongolian oak were 1.02%, 1.03%, and 1.46%, and those of Korean pine were 0.50%, 0.50%, and 1.95%, respectively. Similarly, the mean relative error (MRE) values of the three prediction models of oak litter were 4.76%, 4.73%, and 6.65%, and those of pine were 3.53%, 3.59%, and 13.26%, respectively. These results indicated that the accuracy of the Nelson and Simard methods was similar, and both met the requirements for the forecasting of forest fire risk. Therefore, the direct estimation method was selected to predict the moisture contents of two litter types in this area.
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