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Sample records for fire disturbed forests

  1. Disturbing forest disturbances

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Volney, W.J.A.; Hirsch, K.G. [Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2005-10-01

    This paper described the role that disturbances play in maintaining the ecological integrity of Canadian boreal forests. Potential adaptation options to address the challenges that these disturbances present were also examined. Many forest ecosystems need fire for regeneration, while other forests rely on a cool, wet disintegration process driven by insects and commensal fungi feeding on trees to effect renewal. While there are characteristic natural, temporal and spatial patterns to these disturbances, recent work has demonstrated that the disturbances are being perturbed by climatic change that has been compounded by anthropogenic disturbances in forests. Fire influences species composition and age structure, regulates forest insects and diseases, affects nutrient cycling and energy fluxes, and maintains the productivity of different habitats. Longer fire seasons as a result of climatic change will lead to higher intensity fires that may more easily evade initial attacks and become problematic. Fire regimes elevated beyond the range of natural variation will have a dramatic effect on the regional distribution and functioning of forest ecosystems and pose a threat to the safety and prosperity of people. While it was acknowledged that if insect outbreaks were to be controlled on the entire forest estate, the productivity represented by dead wood would be lost, it was suggested that insects such as the forest tent caterpillar and the spruce bud worm may also pose a greater threat as the climate gets warmer and drier. Together with fungal associates, saproxylic arthropods are active in nutrient cycling and ultimately determine the fertility of forest sites. It was suggested that the production of an age class structure and forest mosaic would render the forest landscape less vulnerable to the more negative aspects of climate change on vegetation response. It was concluded that novel management design paradigms are needed to successfully reduce the risk from threats

  2. Spatially explicit and stochastic simulation of forest landscape fire disturbance and succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong S. He; David J. Mladenoff

    1999-01-01

    Understanding disturbance and recovery of forest landscapes is a challenge because of complex interactions over a range of temporal and spatial scales. Landscape simulation models offer an approach to studying such systems at broad scales. Fire can be simulated spatially using mechanistic or stochastic approaches. We describe the fire module in a spatially explicit,...

  3. The wind and fire disturbance in Central European mountain spruce forests: the regeneration after four years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Budzáková

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available A strong windstorm in November 2004 resulted in a huge blown-down spruce forest area in the southern part of the Tatra National Park in the Western Carpathians in Slovakia, Central Europe. The aim of this work is to study the vegetation composition of spruce forest at differently managed sites four years after this disturbance. Four study areas were selected for this purpose: (i an area where the fallen trees were extracted and new seedlings were planted; (ii an area, which was hit by a forest fire after the extraction; (iii an area where no active management was applied; (iv a reference forest unaffected by such disturbance. A total of 100 plots were selected, 25 of each area type. The result of DCA and CCA analyses consistently indicated that after this short period the non-extracted and extracted areas are currently most similar to the reference forest area, while the fire affected area differed. A one-way ANOVA comparing species cover for the different plot sizes indicated some significant differences between the extracted and non-extracted plots. The abundance of certain species commonly occurring in spruce forests, such as Dyopteris carthusiana agg., Vaccinium myrtillus and Avenella flexuosa, correlated weli with the non-extracted plots, compared to the extracted plots. Coverage of these species was lowest on burned plots. The lowest Shannon-Wiener’s diversity values were recorded in burned plots. This was most likely a consequence of mono-dominant competitive species spread, (mainly Chamerion angustifolium which profited from the altered ecological conditions following the fire. Although some differences were also registered in the Shannon-Wiener diversity index between the remaining research plots, however these were not statistically significant. The most important results of our investigations include the extensive influence of fire disturbance on vegetation. Study revealed that the wind-disturbed area is able to regenerate

  4. Snowpack, fire, and forest disturbance: interactions affect montane invasions by non-native shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Jens T; Latimer, Andrew M

    2015-06-01

    Montane regions worldwide have experienced relatively low plant invasion rates, a trend attributed to increased climatic severity, low rates of disturbance, and reduced propagule pressure relative to lowlands. Manipulative experiments at elevations above the invasive range of non-native species can clarify the relative contributions of these mechanisms to montane invasion resistance, yet such experiments are rare. Furthermore, global climate change and land use changes are expected to cause decreases in snowpack and increases in disturbance by fire and forest thinning in montane forests. We examined the importance of these factors in limiting montane invasions using a field transplant experiment above the invasive range of two non-native lowland shrubs, Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) and Spanish broom (Spartium junceum), in the rain-snow transition zone of the Sierra Nevada of California. We tested the effects of canopy closure, prescribed fire, and winter snow depth on demographic transitions of each species. Establishment of both species was most likely at intermediate levels of canopy disturbance, but at this intermediate canopy level, snow depth had negative effects on winter survival of seedlings. We used matrix population models to show that an 86% reduction in winter snowfall would cause a 2.8-fold increase in population growth rates in Scotch broom and a 3.5-fold increase in Spanish broom. Fall prescribed fire increased germination rates, but decreased overall population growth rates by reducing plant survival. However, at longer fire return intervals, population recovery between fires is likely to keep growth rates high, especially under low snowpack conditions. Many treatment combinations had positive growth rates despite being above the current invasive range, indicating that propagule pressure, disturbance, and climate can all strongly affect plant invasions in montane regions. We conclude that projected reductions in winter snowpack and increases in

  5. Forest development leading to disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clinton E. Carlson; Stephen F. Arno; Jimmie Chew; Catherine A. Stewart

    1995-01-01

    Natural disturbance in western U.S.A. forest ecosystems is related to forest succession, growth, and structural development. Natural disturbance may be biotic (insects and diseases) or abiotic (fire, wind, avalanche, etc.). Natural disturbances are more appropriately thought of as natural processes; disturbance is a social connotation implicating economic loss. Forest...

  6. Simulating effects of fire disturbance and climate change on boreal forest productivity and evapotranspiration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, Sinkyu; Kimball, John S.; Running, Steven W.

    2006-01-01

    We used a terrestrial ecosystem process model, BIOME-BGC, to investigate historical climate change and fire disturbance effects on regional carbon and water budgets within a 357,500 km 2 portion of the Canadian boreal forest. Historical patterns of increasing atmospheric CO 2 , climate change, and regional fire activity were used as model drivers to evaluate the relative effects of these impacts to spatial patterns and temporal trends in forest net primary production (NPP) and evapotranspiration (ET). Historical trends of increasing atmospheric CO 2 resulted in overall 13% and 5% increases in annual NPP and ET from 1994 to 1996, respectively. NPP was found to be relatively sensitive to changes in air temperature (T a ), while ET was more sensitive to precipitation (P) change within the ranges of observed climate variability (e.g., +/-2 o C for T a and +/-20% for P). In addition, the potential effect of climate change related warming on NPP is exacerbated or offset depending on whether these changes are accompanied by respective decreases or increases in precipitation. Historical fire activity generally resulted in reductions of both NPP and ET, which consumed an average of approximately 6% of annual NPP from 1959 to 1996. Areas currently occupied by dry conifer forests were found to be subject to more frequent fire activity, which consumed approximately 8% of annual NPP. The results of this study show that the North American boreal ecosystem is sensitive to historical patterns of increasing atmospheric CO 2 , climate change and regional fire activity. The relative impacts of these disturbances on NPP and ET interact in complex ways and are spatially variable depending on regional land cover and climate gradients. (author)

  7. The effects of Fire Disturbance on Soil Water Cycling of a Southeast Amazonian Forest

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    Santos, C.; Coe, M. T.; Trumbore, S.; Lefebvre, P.; Silverio, D. V.; Macedo, M.; Brando, P. M.

    2014-12-01

    Fire disturbances can reduce the capacity of tropical forests to cycle water from the soil to the atmosphere, but our understanding of this process remains poor. To address this gap, we studied the effects of fire-related changes in vegetation structure and dynamics on soil water cycling of a transitional forest located between Amazônia and Cerrado, Mato Grosso, Brazil. In particular, we measured monthly soil moisture (from 1 to 9 m depth) using seven soil water pits that were distributed across three 50-ha plots: a plot that represented an unburned control; a plot that was burned in 2004, 2007 and 2010; and, a plot that was burned annually from 2004 to 2010, with exception of 2008. Measurements of soil moisture began after the experimental fires of 2010 (in mid September) and continued until December 2013. We hypothesized that soil moisture would be higher in the burned plots than in the control due to fire-induced reductions in evapotranspiration. Our preliminary results provide only partial support for this hypothesis. We observed a high variability in soil moisture between treatments, among months, and across years. For example, the unburned control tended to hold more soil water throughout the soil profile in wet-season months. However, soil moisture tended to be higher in the experimentally burned plots during the driest months of the year (August and September), but this pattern was no consistant across drought and non-drought years. These results show that fires exert complex influences on the soil water cycling of this transitional forest, perhaps even promoting increased evapotranspiration in the burned plots due to reduced competition among trees for resources.

  8. The influence of experimental wind disturbance on forest fuels and fire characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery B. Cannon; Joseph J. O' Brien; Louise Loudermilk; Matthew Dickinson; Chris J. Peterson

    2014-01-01

    Current theory in disturbance ecology predicts that extreme disturbances in rapid succession can lead to dramatic changes in species composition or ecosystem processes due to interactions among disturbances. However, the extent to which less catastrophic, yet chronic, disturbances such as wind damage and fire interact is not well studied. In this study, we simulated...

  9. Post-disturbance plant community dynamics following a rare natural-origin fire in a Tsuga canadensis forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan D Murray

    Full Text Available Opportunities to directly study infrequent forest disturbance events often lead to valuable information about vegetation dynamics. In mesic temperate forests of North America, stand-replacing crown fire occurs infrequently, with a return interval of 2000-3000 years. Rare chance events, however, may have profound impacts on the developmental trajectories of forest ecosystems. For example, it has been postulated that stand-replacing fire may have been an important factor in the establishment of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis stands in the northern Great Lakes region. Nevertheless, experimental evidence linking hemlock regeneration to non-anthropogenic fire is limited. To clarify this potential relationship, we monitored vegetation dynamics following a rare lightning-origin crown fire in a Wisconsin hemlock-hardwood forest. We also studied vegetation in bulldozer-created fire breaks and adjacent undisturbed forest. Our results indicate that hemlock establishment was rare in the burned area but moderately common in the scarified bulldozer lines compared to the reference area. Early-successional, non-arboreal species including Rubus spp., Vaccinium angustifolium, sedges (Carex spp., grasses, Epilobium ciliatum, and Pteridium aquilinium were the most abundant post-fire species. Collectively, our results suggest that competing vegetation and moisture stress resulting from drought may reduce the efficacy of scarification treatments as well as the usefulness of fire for preparing a suitable seedbed for hemlock. The increasing prevalence of growing-season drought suggests that silvicultural strategies based on historic disturbance regimes may need to be reevaluated for mesic species.

  10. Forest disturbances under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seidl, Rupert; Thom, Dominik; Kautz, Markus; Martin-Benito, Dario; Peltoniemi, Mikko; Vacchiano, Giorgio; Wild, Jan; Ascoli, Davide; Petr, Michal; Honkaniemi, Juha; Lexer, Manfred J.; Trotsiuk, Volodymyr; Mairota, Paola; Svoboda, Miroslav; Fabrika, Marek; Nagel, Thomas A.; Reyer, Christopher P. O.

    2017-06-01

    Forest disturbances are sensitive to climate. However, our understanding of disturbance dynamics in response to climatic changes remains incomplete, particularly regarding large-scale patterns, interaction effects and dampening feedbacks. Here we provide a global synthesis of climate change effects on important abiotic (fire, drought, wind, snow and ice) and biotic (insects and pathogens) disturbance agents. Warmer and drier conditions particularly facilitate fire, drought and insect disturbances, while warmer and wetter conditions increase disturbances from wind and pathogens. Widespread interactions between agents are likely to amplify disturbances, while indirect climate effects such as vegetation changes can dampen long-term disturbance sensitivities to climate. Future changes in disturbance are likely to be most pronounced in coniferous forests and the boreal biome. We conclude that both ecosystems and society should be prepared for an increasingly disturbed future of forests.

  11. Effects of climate change on fire and spruce budworm disturbance regimes and consequences on forest biomass production in eastern Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gauthier, S.

    2004-01-01

    The dynamics of spruce budworm (SBW) outbreaks and wildfires are expected to change as climatic change progresses. The effects of an altered, combined interaction between SBW and fire may be of greater importance than the individual effect of either on forest biomass production. The objectives of this study are to define current fire and SBW regimes in eastern Canada and relate the characteristics of each regime based upon climate model outputs for 2050 and 2100. The study also attempts to evaluate the impact of predicted changes in SBW and fire disturbance regimes on forest dynamics. The methodology used in the study included data from the Canadian Large Fire Database and historical records of SBW outbreaks. Spatial and environmental variables were presented along with climate models. The analysis was conducted using constrained ordination techniques, and canonical correspondence and redundancy analysis. Projected disturbance regimes were presented for both fire and SBW. The effects of the regimes on biomass productivity were also examined, using a Landscape Disturbance Simulator (LAD). It was concluded that this model will help evaluate the consequences of changes imposed by climatic change on both disturbances individually, as well as their interaction. 10 refs., 1 tab., 2 figs

  12. Forest fires

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuller, M.

    1991-01-01

    This book examines the many complex and sensitive issues relating to wildland fires. Beginning with an overview of the fires of 1980s, the book discusses the implications of continued drought and considers the behavior of wildland fires, from ignition and spread to spotting and firestorms. Topics include the effects of weather, forest fuels, fire ecology, and the effects of fire on plants and animals. In addition, the book examines firefighting methods and equipment, including new minimum impact techniques and compressed air foam; prescribed burning; and steps that can be taken to protect individuals and human structures. A history of forest fire policies in the U.S. and a discussion of solutions to fire problems around the world completes the coverage. With one percent of the earth's surface burning every year in the last decade, this is a penetrating book on a subject of undeniable importance

  13. Simulating boreal forest carbon dynamics after stand-replacing fire disturbance: insights from a global process-based vegetation model

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    Yue, C.; Ciais, P.; Luyssaert, S.; Cadule, P.; Harden, J.; Randerson, J.; Bellassen, V.; Wang, T.; Piao, S.L.; Poulter, B.; Viovy, N.

    2013-01-01

    results demonstrate that a global vegetation model such as ORCHIDEE is able to capture the essential ecosystem processes in fire-disturbed boreal forests and produces satisfactory results in terms of both carbon fluxes and carbon-stock evolution after fire. This makes the model suitable for regional simulations in boreal regions where fire regimes play a key role in the ecosystem carbon balance.

  14. Disturbance and the Carbon Balance of US Forests: A Quantitative Review of Impacts from Harvests, Fires, Insects, and Droughts

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    Williams, Christopher A.; Gu, Huan; MacLean, Richard; Masek, Jeffrey G.; Collatz, G. James

    2016-01-01

    Disturbances are a major determinant of forest carbon stocks and uptake. They generally reduce land carbon stocks but also initiate a regrowth legacy that contributes substantially to the contemporary rate of carbon stock increase in US forestlands. As managers and policy makers increasingly look to forests for climate protection and mitigation, and because of increasing concern about changes in disturbance intensity and frequency, there is a need for synthesis and integration of current understanding about the role of disturbances and other processes in governing forest carbon cycle dynamics, and the likely future of this and other sinks for atmospheric carbon. This paper aims to address that need by providing a quantitative review of the distribution, extent and carbon impacts of the major disturbances active in the US. We also review recent trends in disturbances, climate, and other global environmental changes and consider their individual and collective contributions to the US carbon budget now and in the likely future. Lastly, we identify some key challenges and opportunities for future research needed to improve current understanding, advance predictive capabilities, and inform forest management in the face of these pressures. Harvest is found to be the most extensive disturbance both in terms of area and carbon impacts, followed by fire, windthrow and bark beetles, and lastly droughts. Collectively these lead to the gross loss of about 200 Tg C y(exp -1) in live biomass annually across the conterminous US. At the same time, the net change in forest carbon stocks is positive (190 Tg C y(exp -1)), indicating not only forest resilience but also an apparently large response to growth enhancements such as fertilization by CO2 and nitrogen. Uncertainty about disturbance legacies, disturbance interactions, likely trends, and global change factors make the future of the US forest carbon sink unclear. While there is scope for management to enhance carbon sinks in US

  15. Forest Fires

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 6; Issue 11. Forest Fires - Origins and Ecological Paradoxes. K Narendran. General Article Volume 6 Issue 11 November 2001 pp 34-41. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/006/11/0034-0041 ...

  16. Forest-fire models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haiganoush Preisler; Alan Ager

    2013-01-01

    For applied mathematicians forest fire models refer mainly to a non-linear dynamic system often used to simulate spread of fire. For forest managers forest fire models may pertain to any of the three phases of fire management: prefire planning (fire risk models), fire suppression (fire behavior models), and postfire evaluation (fire effects and economic models). In...

  17. Quantifying responses of dung beetles to fire disturbance in tropical forests: the importance of trapping method and seasonality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Barreto de Andrade

    Full Text Available Understanding how biodiversity responds to environmental changes is essential to provide the evidence-base that underpins conservation initiatives. The present study provides a standardized comparison between unbaited flight intercept traps (FIT and baited pitfall traps (BPT for sampling dung beetles. We examine the effectiveness of the two to assess fire disturbance effects and how trap performance is affected by seasonality. The study was carried out in a transitional forest between Cerrado (Brazilian Savanna and Amazon Forest. Dung beetles were collected during one wet and one dry sampling season. The two methods sampled different portions of the local beetle assemblage. Both FIT and BPT were sensitive to fire disturbance during the wet season, but only BPT detected community differences during the dry season. Both traps showed similar correlation with environmental factors. Our results indicate that seasonality had a stronger effect than trap type, with BPT more effective and robust under low population numbers, and FIT more sensitive to fine scale heterogeneity patterns. This study shows the strengths and weaknesses of two commonly used methodologies for sampling dung beetles in tropical forests, as well as highlighting the importance of seasonality in shaping the results obtained by both sampling strategies.

  18. Quantifying responses of dung beetles to fire disturbance in tropical forests: the importance of trapping method and seasonality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Andrade, Rafael Barreto; Barlow, Jos; Louzada, Julio; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Zagury; Souza, Mateus; Silveira, Juliana M; Cochrane, Mark A

    2011-01-01

    Understanding how biodiversity responds to environmental changes is essential to provide the evidence-base that underpins conservation initiatives. The present study provides a standardized comparison between unbaited flight intercept traps (FIT) and baited pitfall traps (BPT) for sampling dung beetles. We examine the effectiveness of the two to assess fire disturbance effects and how trap performance is affected by seasonality. The study was carried out in a transitional forest between Cerrado (Brazilian Savanna) and Amazon Forest. Dung beetles were collected during one wet and one dry sampling season. The two methods sampled different portions of the local beetle assemblage. Both FIT and BPT were sensitive to fire disturbance during the wet season, but only BPT detected community differences during the dry season. Both traps showed similar correlation with environmental factors. Our results indicate that seasonality had a stronger effect than trap type, with BPT more effective and robust under low population numbers, and FIT more sensitive to fine scale heterogeneity patterns. This study shows the strengths and weaknesses of two commonly used methodologies for sampling dung beetles in tropical forests, as well as highlighting the importance of seasonality in shaping the results obtained by both sampling strategies.

  19. Forest fires in Pennsylvania.

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    Donald A. Haines; William A. Main; Eugene F. McNamara

    1978-01-01

    Describes factors that contribute to forest fires in Pennsylvania. Includes an analysis of basic statistics; distribution of fires during normal, drought, and wet years; fire cause, fire activity by day-of-week; multiple-fire day; and fire climatology.

  20. Vegetation characteristics of forest stands used by woodland caribou and those disturbed by fire or logging in Manitoba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juha M. Metsaranta

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available This study examined woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in an area known as the Kississing-Naosap caribou range in west central Manitoba. The vegetation characteristics of areas used by caribou and areas disturbed by fire or logging were measured in order to develop a model to estimate habitat quality from parameters collected during stan¬dard resource inventories. There was evidence that habitat index values calculated using a visual score-sheet index could be used as the basis to relate parameters commonly collected during resource inventories to habitat suitability. Use of this model to select long and short-term leave areas during forest management planning could potentially mitigate some of the negative impacts of forest harvesting. Abundance of arboreal lichen and wind-fallen trees were important predictor variables in the suitability model, but their inclusion did not explain more variance in habitat suitability than models that did not include them. Extreme post-fire deadfall abundance may play a role in predator-prey dynamics by creating habitat that is equally unsuitable for all ungulates, and thus keeping both moose and caribou densities low.

  1. Effects of fire disturbance on soil respiration in the non-growing season in a Larix gmelinii forest in the Daxing'an Mountains, China.

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    Tongxin Hu

    Full Text Available In boreal forests, fire is an important part of the ecosystem that greatly influences soil respiration, which in turn affects the carbon balance. Wildfire can have a significant effect on soil respiration and it depends on the fire severity and environmental factors (soil temperature and snow water equivalent after fire disturbance. In this study, we quantified post-fire soil respiration during the non-growing season (from November to April in a Larix gmelinii forest in Daxing'an Mountains of China. Soil respiration was measured in the snow-covered and snow-free conditions with varying degrees of natural burn severity forests. We found that soil respiration decreases as burn severity increases. The estimated annual C efflux also decreased with increased burn severity. Soil respiration during the non-growing season approximately accounted for 4%-5% of the annual C efflux in all site types. Soil temperature (at 5 cm depth was the predominant determinant of non-growing season soil respiration change in this area. Soil temperature and snow water equivalent could explain 73%-79% of the soil respiration variability in winter snow-covering period (November to March. Mean spring freeze-thaw cycle (FTC period (April soil respiration contributed 63% of the non-growing season C efflux. Our finding is key for understanding and predicting the potential change in the response of boreal forest ecosystems to fire disturbance under future climate change.

  2. Effects of different types of moderate severity disturbance on forest structural complexity and ecosystem functioning: A story of ice and fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahey, R. T.; Atkins, J.; Gough, C. M.; Hardiman, B. S.; Haber, L.; Stuart-Haentjens, E.; David, O.; Campbell, J. L.; Rustad, L.; Duffy, M.

    2017-12-01

    Disturbances that alter the structure and function of forest ecosystems occur along a continuum of severity. In contrast to the extremes of the disturbance gradient (i.e., stand-replacing disturbance and small gap formation), moderate severity disturbances are poorly understood, even though they make up the majority of the gradient and their spatial extent (and likely overall importance to regional disturbance regimes) often exceeds that of more severe disturbances. Moderate severity disturbances originate from a variety of causes, such as fires, ice storms, or pest and pathogen outbreaks, and each of these could reshape structure and function in different ways. Observational data from a limited number of sites shows that moderate disturbance can increase ecosystem complexity, but the generality of this effect has not been tested across a broad range of disturbance types and severities. Here, we utilize data from a set of five case studies of experimental or natural moderate disturbance to assess the effects of different types and severities of disturbance on forest canopy structural complexity (CSC) and the relationship of canopy structure with ecosystem functioning. Using pre- and post-disturbance measures of CSC derived from aerial and terrestrial LiDAR, UAV imagery, and Landsat data we quantified changes in CSC following an experimental ice storm, a low-severity surface fire, Beech Bark Disease and Hemlock Wooly Adelgid outbreaks, and experimental accelerated succession. Our initial findings indicate that different disturbance types have highly variable effects on CSC, and also that progressive increases in disturbance severity alter CSC differently among disturbance types. Differential effects of variable disturbance types on CSC has implications for the carbon cycle, as forest structure is strongly linked with both growth-limiting resource (e.g., nutrients and light) acquisition and net primary productivity. Understanding how different types and severities of

  3. High-resolution mapping of time since disturbance and forest carbon flux from remote sensing and inventory data to assess harvest, fire, and beetle disturbance legacies in the Pacific Northwest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Gu

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Accurate assessment of forest carbon storage and uptake is central to policymaking aimed at mitigating climate change and understanding the role forests play in the global carbon cycle. Disturbances have highly diverse impacts on forest carbon dynamics, making them a challenge to quantify and report. Time since disturbance is a key intermediate determinant that aids the assessment of disturbance-driven carbon emissions and removals legacies. We propose a new methodology of quantifying time since disturbance and carbon flux across forested landscapes in the Pacific Northwest (PNW at a fine scale (30 m by combining remote sensing (RS-based disturbance year, disturbance type, and above-ground biomass with forest inventory data. When a recent disturbance is detected, time since disturbance can be directly determined by combining three RS-derived disturbance products, or time since the last stand clearing can be inferred from a RS-derived 30 m biomass map and field inventory-derived species-specific biomass accumulation curves. Net ecosystem productivity (NEP is further mapped based on carbon stock and flux trajectories derived from the Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach (CASA model in our prior work that described how NEP changes with time following harvest, fire, or bark beetle disturbances of varying severity. Uncertainties from biomass map and forest inventory data were propagated by probabilistic sampling to provide a statistical distribution of stand age and NEP for each forest pixel. We mapped mean, standard deviation, and statistical distribution of stand age and NEP at 30 m in the PNW region. Our map indicated a net ecosystem productivity of 5.9 Tg C yr−1 for forestlands circa 2010 in the study area, with net uptake in relatively mature (> 24 years old forests (13.6 Tg C yr−1 overwhelming net negative NEP from tracts that had recent harvests (−6.4 Tg C yr−1, fires (−0.5 Tg C yr−1, and bark beetle

  4. Autonomous Forest Fire Detection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breejen, E. den; Breuers, M.; Cremer, F.; Kemp, R.A.W.; Roos, M.; Schutte, K.; Vries, J.S. de

    1998-01-01

    Forest fire detection is a very important issue in the pre-suppression process. Timely detection allows the suppression units to reach the fire in its initial stages and this will reduce the suppression costs considerably. The autonomous forest fire detection principle is based on temporal contrast

  5. Forest Fires 3

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    heat from within the Earth could be transferred to the charcoal layers above, from there onto the peat and other vegetation in the soil and finally when it comes in contact with forest litter it would develop into a natural forest fire. Ironically, in regions usually thought of as cool and wet, forest fires do occur naturally frop1 time to ...

  6. Fire, climate change, and forest resilience in interior Alaska

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    Jill F. Johnstone; F. Stuart Chapin; Teresa N. Hollingsworth; Michelle C. Mack; Vladimir Romanovsky; Merritt Turetsky

    2010-01-01

    In the boreal forests of interior Alaska, feedbacks that link forest soils, fire characteristics, and plant traits have supported stable cycles of forest succession for the past 6000 years. This high resilience of forest stands to fire disturbance is supported by two interrelated feedback cycles: (i) interactions among disturbance regime and plant-soil-microbial...

  7. Disturbance dynamics of forested ecosystems

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    John A. Stanturf

    2004-01-01

    Forested ecosystems are dynamic, subject to natural developmental processes as well as natural and anthropogenic stresses and disturbances. Degradation is a related term. for lowered productive capacity from changes to forest structure of function (FAO. 2001). Degradation is not synonymous with disturbance, however; disturbance becomes degradation when natural...

  8. Floristic patterns and disturbance history in karri ( Eucalyptus diversicolor: Myrtaceae) forest, south-western Australia: 2. Origin, growth form and fire response

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    Wardell-Johnson, Grant W.; Williams, M. R.; Mellican, A. E.; Annells, A.

    2007-03-01

    We examined the influence of disturbance history on the floristic composition of a single community type in karri forest, south-western Australia. Cover-abundance of 224 plant species and six disturbance and site-based environmental variables were recorded in 91, 20 m × 20 m quadrats. Numerical taxonomic and correlation approaches were used to relate these and 10 plant species-group variables based on origin, growth form and fire response. Ordination revealed no discernable pattern of sites based on floristic composition. However, all 10 species-group variables were significantly correlated with the ordination axes. Species richness within these groups varied with category and with respect to many of the disturbance and site variables. We encountered low diversity of vascular plants at the community level and limited diversity of growth forms. Thus most species were herbs (62.1%) or shrubs (30.3%), and there were no epiphytes and few species of trees or climbers. Although many introduced species were recorded (18.3% of all taxa), virtually all (83%) were herbs that demonstrated little persistence in the community, and there was limited evidence of transformer species. Time-since-fire (and other disturbance) influenced species richness more than the number of recent past fires because of a high proportion of ephemerals associated with the immediate post-fire period. Long-lived shrubs with soil stored seed dominate numerically, and in understorey biomass in comparison with neighboring vegetation types because of their greater flexibility of response following irregular, but intense disturbance events. However, interactions between nutrient status, regeneration mechanisms and community composition may be worthy of further investigation.

  9. North American forest disturbance mapped from a decadal Landsat record

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    Jeffrey G. Masek; Chengquan Huang; Robert Wolfe; Warren Cohen; Forrest Hall; Jonathan Kutler; Peder. Nelson

    2008-01-01

    Forest disturbance and recovery are critical ecosystem processes, but the spatial pattern of disturbance has never been mapped across North America. The LEDAPS (Landsat Ecosystem Disturbance Adaptive Processing System) project has assembled a wall-to-wall record of stand-clearing disturbance (clearcut harvest, fire) for the United States and Canada for the period 1990-...

  10. Fire and forest meteorology

    Science.gov (United States)

    SA Ferguson; T.J. Brown; M. Flannigan

    2005-01-01

    The American Meteorological Society symposia series on Fire and Forest Meteorology provides biennial forums for atmospheric and fire scientists to introduce and discuss the latest and most relevant research on weather, climate and fire. This special issue highlights significant work that was presented at the Fifth Symposium in Orlando, Florida during 16-20 November...

  11. Evaluating an Automated Approach for Monitoring Forest Disturbances in the Pacific Northwest from Logging, Fire and Insect Outbreaks with Landsat Time Series Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.Neigh, Christopher S.; Bolton, Douglas K.; Williams, Jennifer J.; Diabate, Mouhamad

    2014-01-01

    Forests are the largest aboveground sink for atmospheric carbon (C), and understanding how they change through time is critical to reduce our C-cycle uncertainties. We investigated a strong decline in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from 1982 to 1991 in Pacific Northwest forests, observed with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) series of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers (AVHRRs). To understand the causal factors of this decline, we evaluated an automated classification method developed for Landsat time series stacks (LTSS) to map forest change. This method included: (1) multiple disturbance index thresholds; and (2) a spectral trajectory-based image analysis with multiple confidence thresholds. We produced 48 maps and verified their accuracy with air photos, monitoring trends in burn severity data and insect aerial detection survey data. Area-based accuracy estimates for change in forest cover resulted in producer's and user's accuracies of 0.21 +/- 0.06 to 0.38 +/- 0.05 for insect disturbance, 0.23 +/- 0.07 to 1 +/- 0 for burned area and 0.74 +/- 0.03 to 0.76 +/- 0.03 for logging. We believe that accuracy was low for insect disturbance because air photo reference data were temporally sparse, hence missing some outbreaks, and the annual anniversary time step is not dense enough to track defoliation and progressive stand mortality. Producer's and user's accuracy for burned area was low due to the temporally abrupt nature of fire and harvest with a similar response of spectral indices between the disturbance index and normalized burn ratio. We conclude that the spectral trajectory approach also captures multi-year stress that could be caused by climate, acid deposition, pathogens, partial harvest, thinning, etc. Our study focused on understanding the transferability of previously successful methods to new ecosystems and found that this automated method does not perform with the same accuracy in Pacific Northwest forests

  12. Fire in the forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    James M. Saveland

    1995-01-01

    From ancient philosophies to present day science, the ubiquity of change and the process of transformation are core concepts. The primary focus of a recent white paper on disturbance ecology is summed up by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who stated, "Nothing is permanent but change." Disturbance processes, such as fire, provide a window into the emerging...

  13. Forest Fire Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucca, Carol; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Presents a model that integrates high school science with the needs of the local scientific community. Describes how a high school ecology class conducted scientific research in fire ecology that benefited the students and a state park forest ecologist. (MKR)

  14. Disturbance and Forest Health in Oregon and Washington.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sally Campbell; Leon Liegel

    1996-01-01

    The scope and intensity of disturbance by such agents as fire, insects, diseases, air pollution, and weather in Pacific Northwest forests suggests that forest health has declined in recent years in many areas. The most significant disturbances and causes of tree mortality or decline in Oregon and Washington are presented and illustrated. We discuss the interrelations...

  15. Effect of fire disturbances on soil respiration of Larix gmelinii Rupr ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Effect of fire disturbances on soil respiration of Larix gmelinii Rupr. forest in the Da Xing'an Mountain during growing season. W Tan, L Sun, H Hu, X Chen. Abstract. The Da Xing'an Mountain is a key distribution area for Chinese boreal forests and is a fire-prone area. Frequent forest fires have influenced on the regional ...

  16. Historical fire regime and forest variability on two eastern Great Basin fire-sheds (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley G. Kitchen

    2012-01-01

    Proper management of naturally forested landscapes requires knowledge of key disturbance processes and their effects on species composition and structure. Spatially-intensive fire and forest histories provide valuable information about how fire and vegetation may vary and interact on heterogeneous landscapes. I constructed 800-year fire and tree recruitment...

  17. Disturbance in forest ecosystems caused by pathogens and insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip M. Wargo; Philip M. Wargo

    1995-01-01

    Pathogens and insects are major driving forces of processes in forested ecosystems. Disturbances caused by them are as intimately involved in ecosystem dynamics as the more sudden and obvious abiotic disturbances, for example, those caused by wind or fire. However, because pathogens and insects are selective and may affect only one or several related species of...

  18. Age structure and disturbance legacy of North American forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Pan

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Most forests of the world are recovering from a past disturbance. It is well known that forest disturbances profoundly affect carbon stocks and fluxes in forest ecosystems, yet it has been a great challenge to assess disturbance impacts in estimates of forest carbon budgets. Net sequestration or loss of CO2 by forests after disturbance follows a predictable pattern with forest recovery. Forest age, which is related to time since disturbance, is a useful surrogate variable for analyses of the impact of disturbance on forest carbon. In this study, we compiled the first continental forest age map of North America by combining forest inventory data, historical fire data, optical satellite data and the dataset from NASA's Landsat Ecosystem Disturbance Adaptive Processing System (LEDAPS project. A companion map of the standard deviations for age estimates was developed for quantifying uncertainty. We discuss the significance of the disturbance legacy from the past, as represented by current forest age structure in different regions of the US and Canada, by analyzing the causes of disturbances from land management and nature over centuries and at various scales. We also show how such information can be used with inventory data for analyzing carbon management opportunities. By combining geographic information about forest age with estimated C dynamics by forest type, it is possible to conduct a simple but powerful analysis of the net CO2 uptake by forests, and the potential for increasing (or decreasing this rate as a result of direct human intervention in the disturbance/age status. Finally, we describe how the forest age data can be used in large-scale carbon modeling, both for land-based biogeochemistry models and atmosphere-based inversion models, in order to improve the spatial accuracy of carbon cycle simulations.

  19. Forest disturbances under climate change

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Seidl, R.; Thom, D.; Kautz, M.; Martin-Benito, D.; Peltoniemi, M.; Vacchiano, G.; Wild, Jan; Ascoli, D.; Petr, M.; Honkaniemi, J.; Lexer, M. J.; Trotsiuk, V.; Mairota, P.; Svoboda, M.; Fabrika, M.; Nagel, T.A.; Reyer, C. P. O.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 6 (2017), s. 395-402 ISSN 1758-678X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LD15158 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : climate change * disturbance * forest Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 19.304, year: 2016

  20. Normalized algorithm for mapping and dating forest disturbances and regrowth for the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liming He; Jing M. Chen; Shaoliang Zhang; Gustavo Gomez; Yude Pan; Kevin McCullough; Richard Birdsey; Jeffrey G. Masek

    2011-01-01

    Forest disturbances such as harvesting, wildfire and insect infestation are critical ecosystem processes affecting the carbon cycle. Because carbon dynamics are related to time since disturbance, forest stand age that can be used as a surrogate for major clear-cut/fire disturbance information has recently been recognized as an important input to forest carbon cycle...

  1. Combining Radar and Optical Data for Forest Disturbance Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranson, K. Jon; Smith, David E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Disturbance is an important factor in determining the carbon balance and succession of forests. Until the early 1990's researchers have focused on using optical or thermal sensors to detect and map forest disturbances from wild fires, logging or insect outbreaks. As part of a NASA Siberian mapping project, a study evaluated the capability of three different radar sensors (ERS, JERS and Radarsat) and an optical sensor (Landsat 7) to detect fire scars, logging and insect damage in the boreal forest. This paper describes the data sets and techniques used to evaluate the use of remote sensing to detect disturbance in central Siberian forests. Using images from each sensor individually and combined an assessment of the utility of using these sensors was developed. Transformed Divergence analysis and maximum likelihood classification revealed that Landsat data was the single best data type for this purpose. However, the combined use of the three radar and optical sensors did improve the results of discriminating these disturbances.

  2. United States Forest Disturbance Trends Observed Using Landsat Time Series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masek, Jeffrey G.; Goward, Samuel N.; Kennedy, Robert E.; Cohen, Warren B.; Moisen, Gretchen G.; Schleeweis, Karen; Huang, Chengquan

    2013-01-01

    Disturbance events strongly affect the composition, structure, and function of forest ecosystems; however, existing U.S. land management inventories were not designed to monitor disturbance. To begin addressing this gap, the North American Forest Dynamics (NAFD) project has examined a geographic sample of 50 Landsat satellite image time series to assess trends in forest disturbance across the conterminous United States for 1985-2005. The geographic sample design used a probability-based scheme to encompass major forest types and maximize geographic dispersion. For each sample location disturbance was identified in the Landsat series using the Vegetation Change Tracker (VCT) algorithm. The NAFD analysis indicates that, on average, 2.77 Mha/yr of forests were disturbed annually, representing 1.09%/yr of US forestland. These satellite-based national disturbance rates estimates tend to be lower than those derived from land management inventories, reflecting both methodological and definitional differences. In particular the VCT approach used with a biennial time step has limited sensitivity to low-intensity disturbances. Unlike prior satellite studies, our biennial forest disturbance rates vary by nearly a factor of two between high and low years. High western US disturbance rates were associated with active fire years and insect activity, while variability in the east is more strongly related to harvest rates in managed forests. We note that generating a geographic sample based on representing forest type and variability may be problematic since the spatial pattern of disturbance does not necessarily correlate with forest type. We also find that the prevalence of diffuse, non-stand clearing disturbance in US forests makes the application of a biennial geographic sample problematic. Future satellite-based studies of disturbance at regional and national scales should focus on wall-to-wall analyses with annual time step for improved accuracy.

  3. Carbon changes in conterminous US forests associated with growth and major disturbances: 1992-2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daolan Zheng; Linda S. Heath; Mark J. Ducey; James E. Smith

    2011-01-01

    We estimated forest area and carbon changes in the conterminous United States using a remote sensing based land cover change map, forest fire data from the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity program, and forest growth and harvest data from the USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis Program. Natural and human-associated disturbances reduced the forest...

  4. Tree mortality based fire severity classification for forest inventories: A Pacific Northwest national forests example

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas R. Whittier; Andrew N. Gray

    2016-01-01

    Determining how the frequency, severity, and extent of forest fires are changing in response to changes in management and climate is a key concern in many regions where fire is an important natural disturbance. In the USA the only national-scale fire severity classification uses satellite image changedetection to produce maps for large (>400 ha) fires, and is...

  5. A soil burn severity index for understanding soil-fire relations in tropical forests [Chinese version

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theresa B. Jain; William A. Gould; Russell T. Graham; David S. Pilliod; Leigh B. Lentile; Grizelle Gonzalez

    2008-01-01

    Methods for evaluating the impact of fires within tropical forests are needed as fires become more frequent and human populations and demands on forests increase. Short- and long-term fire effects on soils are determined by the prefire, fire, and postfire environments. We placed these components within a fire-disturbance continuum to guide our literature synthesis and...

  6. Fires following bark beetles: Factors controlling severity and disturbance interactions in ponderosa pine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carolyn H. Sieg; Rodman R. Linn; Francois Pimont; Chad M. Hoffman; Joel D. McMillin; Judith Winterkamp; L. Scott Baggett

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that bark beetles and fires can be interacting disturbances, whereby bark beetle-caused tree mortality can alter the risk and severity of subsequent wildland fires. However, there remains considerable uncertainty around the type and magnitude of the interaction between fires following bark beetle attacks, especially in drier forest types...

  7. Temperate and boreal forest mega-fires: characteristics and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Scott L.; Burrows, Neil; Buyantuyev, Alexander; Gray, Robert W.; Keane, Robert E.; Kubian, Rick; Liu, Shirong; Seijo, Francisco; Shu, Lifu; Tolhurst, Kevin G.; Van Wagtendonk, Jan W.

    2014-01-01

    Mega-fires are often defined according to their size and intensity but are more accurately described by their socioeconomic impacts. Three factors – climate change, fire exclusion, and antecedent disturbance, collectively referred to as the “mega-fire triangle” – likely contribute to today's mega-fires. Some characteristics of mega-fires may emulate historical fire regimes and can therefore sustain healthy fire-prone ecosystems, but other attributes decrease ecosystem resiliency. A good example of a program that seeks to mitigate mega-fires is located in Western Australia, where prescribed burning reduces wildfire intensity while conserving ecosystems. Crown-fire-adapted ecosystems are likely at higher risk of frequent mega-fires as a result of climate change, as compared with other ecosystems once subject to frequent less severe fires. Fire and forest managers should recognize that mega-fires will be a part of future wildland fire regimes and should develop strategies to reduce their undesired impacts.

  8. Fighting forest fires in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    José Carlos Mendes de Morais

    2013-01-01

    Fire has been used in Brazil for many years, but the increased use of this tool, combined with natural events and the presence of large forest and agricultural areas, has led to a significant jump in the number of forest fires, most of them caused by accident. To optimize existing resources and to cope with growing demand, action levels were adopted according to the...

  9. Are forest disturbances amplifying or canceling out climate change-induced productivity changes in European forests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyer, Christopher P. O.; Bathgate, Stephen; Blennow, Kristina; Borges, Jose G.; Bugmann, Harald; Delzon, Sylvain; Faias, Sonia P.; Garcia-Gonzalo, Jordi; Gardiner, Barry; Gonzalez-Olabarria, Jose Ramon; Gracia, Carlos; Guerra Hernández, Juan; Kellomäki, Seppo; Kramer, Koen; Lexer, Manfred J.; Lindner, Marcus; van der Maaten, Ernst; Maroschek, Michael; Muys, Bart; Nicoll, Bruce; Palahi, Marc; Palma, João HN; Paulo, Joana A.; Peltola, Heli; Pukkala, Timo; Rammer, Werner; Ray, Duncan; Sabaté, Santiago; Schelhaas, Mart-Jan; Seidl, Rupert; Temperli, Christian; Tomé, Margarida; Yousefpour, Rasoul; Zimmermann, Niklaus E.; Hanewinkel, Marc

    2017-03-01

    Recent studies projecting future climate change impacts on forests mainly consider either the effects of climate change on productivity or on disturbances. However, productivity and disturbances are intrinsically linked because 1) disturbances directly affect forest productivity (e.g. via a reduction in leaf area, growing stock or resource-use efficiency), and 2) disturbance susceptibility is often coupled to a certain development phase of the forest with productivity determining the time a forest is in this specific phase of susceptibility. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of forest productivity changes in different forest regions in Europe under climate change, and partition these changes into effects induced by climate change alone and by climate change and disturbances. We present projections of climate change impacts on forest productivity from state-of-the-art forest models that dynamically simulate forest productivity and the effects of the main European disturbance agents (fire, storm, insects), driven by the same climate scenario in seven forest case studies along a large climatic gradient throughout Europe. Our study shows that, in most cases, including disturbances in the simulations exaggerate ongoing productivity declines or cancel out productivity gains in response to climate change. In fewer cases, disturbances also increase productivity or buffer climate-change induced productivity losses, e.g. because low severity fires can alleviate resource competition and increase fertilization. Even though our results cannot simply be extrapolated to other types of forests and disturbances, we argue that it is necessary to interpret climate change-induced productivity and disturbance changes jointly to capture the full range of climate change impacts on forests and to plan adaptation measures.

  10. Are forest disturbances amplifying or canceling out climate change-induced productivity changes in European forests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyer, Christopher P O; Bathgate, Stephen; Blennow, Kristina; Borges, Jose G; Bugmann, Harald; Delzon, Sylvain; Faias, Sonia P; Garcia-Gonzalo, Jordi; Gardiner, Barry; Gonzalez-Olabarria, Jose Ramon; Gracia, Carlos; Hernández, Juan Guerra; Kellomäki, Seppo; Kramer, Koen; Lexer, Manfred J; Lindner, Marcus; van der Maaten, Ernst; Maroschek, Michael; Muys, Bart; Nicoll, Bruce; Palahi, Marc; Palma, João Hn; Paulo, Joana A; Peltola, Heli; Pukkala, Timo; Rammer, Werner; Ray, Duncan; Sabaté, Santiago; Schelhaas, Mart-Jan; Seidl, Rupert; Temperli, Christian; Tomé, Margarida; Yousefpour, Rasoul; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Hanewinkel, Marc

    2017-03-16

    Recent studies projecting future climate change impacts on forests mainly consider either the effects of climate change on productivity or on disturbances. However, productivity and disturbances are intrinsically linked because 1) disturbances directly affect forest productivity (e.g. via a reduction in leaf area, growing stock or resource-use efficiency), and 2) disturbance susceptibility is often coupled to a certain development phase of the forest with productivity determining the time a forest is in this specific phase of susceptibility. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of forest productivity changes in different forest regions in Europe under climate change, and partition these changes into effects induced by climate change alone and by climate change and disturbances. We present projections of climate change impacts on forest productivity from state-of-the-art forest models that dynamically simulate forest productivity and the effects of the main European disturbance agents (fire, storm, insects), driven by the same climate scenario in seven forest case studies along a large climatic gradient throughout Europe. Our study shows that, in most cases, including disturbances in the simulations exaggerate ongoing productivity declines or cancel out productivity gains in response to climate change. In fewer cases, disturbances also increase productivity or buffer climate-change induced productivity losses, e.g. because low severity fires can alleviate resource competition and increase fertilization. Even though our results cannot simply be extrapolated to other types of forests and disturbances, we argue that it is necessary to interpret climate change-induced productivity and disturbance changes jointly to capture the full range of climate change impacts on forests and to plan adaptation measures.

  11. Are forest disturbances amplifying or canceling out climate change-induced productivity changes in European forests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyer, Christopher P O; Bathgate, Stephen; Blennow, Kristina; Borges, Jose G; Bugmann, Harald; Delzon, Sylvain; Faias, Sonia P; Garcia-Gonzalo, Jordi; Gardiner, Barry; Gonzalez-Olabarria, Jose Ramon; Gracia, Carlos; Hernández, Juan Guerra; Kellomäki, Seppo; Kramer, Koen; Lexer, Manfred J; Lindner, Marcus; van der Maaten, Ernst; Maroschek, Michael; Muys, Bart; Nicoll, Bruce; Palahi, Marc; Palma, João HN; Paulo, Joana A; Peltola, Heli; Pukkala, Timo; Rammer, Werner; Ray, Duncan; Sabaté, Santiago; Schelhaas, Mart-Jan; Seidl, Rupert; Temperli, Christian; Tomé, Margarida; Yousefpour, Rasoul; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Hanewinkel, Marc

    2017-01-01

    Recent studies projecting future climate change impacts on forests mainly consider either the effects of climate change on productivity or on disturbances. However, productivity and disturbances are intrinsically linked because 1) disturbances directly affect forest productivity (e.g. via a reduction in leaf area, growing stock or resource-use efficiency), and 2) disturbance susceptibility is often coupled to a certain development phase of the forest with productivity determining the time a forest is in this specific phase of susceptibility. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of forest productivity changes in different forest regions in Europe under climate change, and partition these changes into effects induced by climate change alone and by climate change and disturbances. We present projections of climate change impacts on forest productivity from state-of-the-art forest models that dynamically simulate forest productivity and the effects of the main European disturbance agents (fire, storm, insects), driven by the same climate scenario in seven forest case studies along a large climatic gradient throughout Europe. Our study shows that, in most cases, including disturbances in the simulations exaggerate ongoing productivity declines or cancel out productivity gains in response to climate change. In fewer cases, disturbances also increase productivity or buffer climate-change induced productivity losses, e.g. because low severity fires can alleviate resource competition and increase fertilization. Even though our results cannot simply be extrapolated to other types of forests and disturbances, we argue that it is necessary to interpret climate change-induced productivity and disturbance changes jointly to capture the full range of climate change impacts on forests and to plan adaptation measures. PMID:28855959

  12. Combining fire and erosion modeling to target forest management activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Elliot; Mary Ellen Miller; Nic Enstice

    2015-01-01

    Forests deliver a number of important ecosystem services including clean water. When forests are disturbed by wildfire, the timing, quantity and quality of runoff are altered. A modeling study was carried out in a forested watershed in California to determine the risk of wildfire, and the potential post-fire sediment delivery from approximately 6-ha hillslope polygons...

  13. Targeting forest management through fire and erosion modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Elliot; Mary Ellen Miller; Nic Enstice

    2016-01-01

    Forests deliver a number of important ecosystem services, including clean water. When forests are disturbed by wildfire, the timing, quantity and quality of runoff are altered. A modelling study was conducted in a forested watershed in California, USA, to determine the risk of wildfire, and the potential post-fire sediment delivery from ~4-ha hillslope polygons within...

  14. Changes of forest cover and disturbance regimes in the mountain forests of the Alps☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebi, P.; Seidl, R.; Motta, R.; Fuhr, M.; Firm, D.; Krumm, F.; Conedera, M.; Ginzler, C.; Wohlgemuth, T.; Kulakowski, D.

    2017-01-01

    Natural disturbances, such as avalanches, snow breakage, insect outbreaks, windthrow or fires shape mountain forests globally. However, in many regions over the past centuries human activities have strongly influenced forest dynamics, especially following natural disturbances, thus limiting our understanding of natural ecological processes, particularly in densely-settled regions. In this contribution we briefly review the current understanding of changes in forest cover, forest structure, and disturbance regimes in the mountain forests across the European Alps over the past millennia. We also quantify changes in forest cover across the entire Alps based on inventory data over the past century. Finally, using the Swiss Alps as an example, we analyze in-depth changes in forest cover and forest structure and their effect on patterns of fire and wind disturbances, based on digital historic maps from 1880, modern forest cover maps, inventory data on current forest structure, topographical data, and spatially explicit data on disturbances. This multifaceted approach presents a long-term and detailed picture of the dynamics of mountain forest ecosystems in the Alps. During pre-industrial times, natural disturbances were reduced by fire suppression and land-use, which included extraction of large amounts of biomass that decreased total forest cover. More recently, forest cover has increased again across the entire Alps (on average +4% per decade over the past 25–115 years). Live tree volume (+10% per decade) and dead tree volume (mean +59% per decade) have increased over the last 15–40 years in all regions for which data were available. In the Swiss Alps secondary forests that established after 1880 constitute approximately 43% of the forest cover. Compared to forests established previously, post-1880 forests are situated primarily on steep slopes (>30°), have lower biomass, a more aggregated forest structure (primarily stem-exclusion stage), and have been more

  15. Changes of forest cover and disturbance regimes in the mountain forests of the Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebi, P; Seidl, R; Motta, R; Fuhr, M; Firm, D; Krumm, F; Conedera, M; Ginzler, C; Wohlgemuth, T; Kulakowski, D

    2017-03-15

    Natural disturbances, such as avalanches, snow breakage, insect outbreaks, windthrow or fires shape mountain forests globally. However, in many regions over the past centuries human activities have strongly influenced forest dynamics, especially following natural disturbances, thus limiting our understanding of natural ecological processes, particularly in densely-settled regions. In this contribution we briefly review the current understanding of changes in forest cover, forest structure, and disturbance regimes in the mountain forests across the European Alps over the past millennia. We also quantify changes in forest cover across the entire Alps based on inventory data over the past century. Finally, using the Swiss Alps as an example, we analyze in-depth changes in forest cover and forest structure and their effect on patterns of fire and wind disturbances, based on digital historic maps from 1880, modern forest cover maps, inventory data on current forest structure, topographical data, and spatially explicit data on disturbances. This multifaceted approach presents a long-term and detailed picture of the dynamics of mountain forest ecosystems in the Alps. During pre-industrial times, natural disturbances were reduced by fire suppression and land-use, which included extraction of large amounts of biomass that decreased total forest cover. More recently, forest cover has increased again across the entire Alps (on average +4% per decade over the past 25-115 years). Live tree volume (+10% per decade) and dead tree volume (mean +59% per decade) have increased over the last 15-40 years in all regions for which data were available. In the Swiss Alps secondary forests that established after 1880 constitute approximately 43% of the forest cover. Compared to forests established previously, post-1880 forests are situated primarily on steep slopes (>30°), have lower biomass, a more aggregated forest structure (primarily stem-exclusion stage), and have been more strongly

  16. Probabilistic risk models for multiple disturbances: an example of forest insects and wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haiganoush K. Preisler; Alan A. Ager; Jane L. Hayes

    2010-01-01

    Building probabilistic risk models for highly random forest disturbances like wildfire and forest insect outbreaks is a challenging. Modeling the interactions among natural disturbances is even more difficult. In the case of wildfire and forest insects, we looked at the probability of a large fire given an insect outbreak and also the incidence of insect outbreaks...

  17. Natural disturbance impacts on Canada's forest carbon budget

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kurz, W.

    2004-01-01

    Wildfire and insect outbreaks are major determinants of forest dynamics in Canada, transferring carbon within the ecosystem, releasing carbon into the atmosphere and influencing post-disturbance carbon dynamics. This paper discusses the impacts of global climate change on natural disturbances. Higher temperatures and drier conditions are likely to increase burned areas in Canada and will also increase the impacts of insects, allowing for an expanded range and stressing their host species. Long-term changes in disturbance regimes have already affected Canada's forest age-class structure. Statistics of lower disturbance periods and carbon production were compared with periods of higher disturbance. Scenario analyses were conducted for the period of 1996 to 2032, assuming that annual insect and fire disturbance rates in timber-productive forests were 20 per cent higher and carbon production 20 per cent lower than base scenarios using average disturbance rates. It was concluded that these conditions could cause carbon stocks in Canada's forests to decline. The future carbon balance of Canada's forests will be affected by the rate of natural and human-induced disturbances. 4 refs

  18. From "Forest Fires" and "Hunting" to Disturbing "Habitats" and "Food Chains": Do Young Children Come Up with Any Ecological Interpretations of Human Interventions within a Forest?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ergazaki, Marida; Andriotou, Eirini

    2010-01-01

    This study aims at highlighting young children's reasoning about human interventions within a forest ecosystem. Our focus is particularly set on whether preschoolers are able to come up with any basic ecological interpretations of human actions upon forest plants or animals and how. Conducting individual, semi-structured interviews with 70…

  19. Effects of Burn Severity and Environmental Conditions on Post-Fire Regeneration in Siberian Larch Forest

    OpenAIRE

    Thuan Chu; Xulin Guo; Kazuo Takeda

    2017-01-01

    Post-fire forest regeneration is strongly influenced by abiotic and biotic heterogeneity in the pre- and post-fire environments, including fire regimes, species characteristics, landforms, hydrology, regional climate, and soil properties. Assessing these drivers is key to understanding the long-term effects of fire disturbances on forest succession. We evaluated multiple factors influencing patterns of variability in a post-fire boreal Larch (Larix sibirica) forest in Siberia. A time-series o...

  20. Forest Fires in a Random Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leuenberger, Michael; Kanevski, Mikhaïl; Vega Orozco, Carmen D.

    2013-04-01

    Forest fires in Canton Ticino (Switzerland) are very complex phenomena. Meteorological data can explain some occurrences of fires in time, but not necessarily in space. Using anthropogenic and geographical feature data with the random forest algorithm, this study tries to highlight factors that most influence the fire-ignition and to identify areas under risk. The fundamental scientific problem considered in the present research deals with an application of random forest algorithms for the analysis and modeling of forest fires patterns in a high dimensional input feature space. This study is focused on the 2,224 anthropogenic forest fires among the 2,401 forest fire ignition points that have occurred in Canton Ticino from 1969 to 2008. Provided by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), the database characterizes each fire by their location (x,y coordinates of the ignition point), start date, duration, burned area, and other information such as ignition cause and topographic features such as slope, aspect, altitude, etc. In addition, the database VECTOR25 from SwissTopo was used to extract information of the distances between fire ignition points and anthropogenic structures like buildings, road network, rail network, etc. Developed by L. Breiman and A. Cutler, the Random Forests (RF) algorithm provides an ensemble of classification and regression trees. By a pseudo-random variable selection for each split node, this method grows a variety of decision trees that do not return the same results, and thus by a committee system, returns a value that has a better accuracy than other machine learning methods. This algorithm incorporates directly measurement of importance variable which is used to display factors affecting forest fires. Dealing with this parameter, several models can be fit, and thus, a prediction can be made throughout the validity domain of Canton Ticino. Comprehensive RF analysis was carried out in order to 1

  1. Forest Fires Darken Snow for Years following Disturbance: Magnitude, Duration, and Composition of Light Absorbing Impurities in Seasonal Snow across a Chronosequence of Burned Forests in the Colorado River Headwaters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleason, K. E.; Arienzo, M. M.; Chellman, N.; McConnell, J.

    2017-12-01

    Charred forests shed black carbon and burned debris, which accumulates and concentrates on winter snowpack, reducing snow surface albedo, and subsequently increasing snowmelt rates, and advancing the date of snow disappearance. Forest fires have occurred across vast areas of the seasonal snow zone in recent decades, however we do not understand the long-term implications of burned forests in montane headwaters to snow hydrology and downstream water resources. Across a chronosequence of nine burned forests in the Colorado River Headwaters, we sampled snow throughout the complete snowpack profile to conserve the composition, properties, and vertical stratigraphy of impurities in the snowpack during maximum snow accumulation. Using state-of-the-art geochemical analyses, we determined the magnitude, composition, and particle size distribution of black carbon, dust, and other impurities in the snowpack relative to years-since fire. Forest fires continue to darken snow for many years following fire, however the magnitude, composition, and particle size distribution of impurities change through time, altering the post-fire radiative forcing on snow as a burned forest ages.

  2. Chemicals used on Forest Fires

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mertol ERTUĞRUL

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Traditionally water is used to fighting for forest fires. It has been used for extinguish for centuries because of easy use, obstainable, inexpensive and effective. There was renovation to extinguish equipments and retardants with development of industry in the 20th century. Fires have different features because of different fuel materials. Therefore different fire types must be extinguish use with different chemicals and retardants. Nowadays its used to various chemicals like FE-13, Inergen, Halon, Halotren, Purple K. and especially foam for fight fires.

  3. Changes in forest structure and composition after fire in tropical montane cloud forests near the Andean treeline

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oliveras Menor, I.; Malhi, Y.; Salinas, N.; Huaman, V.; Urquiaga-Flores, E.; Kala-Mamani, J.; Quintano-Loaiza, J.A.; Cuba-Torres, I.; Lizarraga-Morales, N.; Roman-Cuesta, R.M.

    2014-01-01

    Background: In tropical montane cloud forests (TMCFs) fires can be a frequent source of disturbance near the treeline. Aims: To identify how forest structure and tree species composition change in response to fire and to identify fire-tolerant species, and determine which traits or characteristics

  4. Restoring fire in lodgepole pine forests of the Intermountain west

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colin C. Hardy; Ward W. McCaughey

    1997-01-01

    We are developing new management treatments for regenerating and sustaining lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests through emulation of natural disturbance processes. Lodgepole pine is the principal forest cover on over 26 million hectares in western North America. While infrequent, stand replacing fires following mountain pine beetle outbreaks are common to the...

  5. Vegetation, fire, and feedbacks: a disturbance-mediated model of savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckage, Brian; Platt, William J; Gross, Louis J

    2009-12-01

    Savanna models that are based on recurrent disturbances such as fire result in nonequilibrium savannas, but these models rarely incorporate vegetation feedbacks on fire frequency or include more than two states (grasses and trees). We develop a disturbance model that includes vegetation-fire feedbacks, using a system of differential equations to represent three main components of savannas: grasses, fire-tolerant savanna trees, and fire-intolerant forest trees. We investigate the stability of savannas in the presence of positive feedbacks of fire frequency with (1) grasses, (2) savanna trees, and (3) grasses and savanna trees together while also allowing for negative feedbacks of forest trees on fire frequency. We find that positive feedbacks between fire frequency and savanna trees, alone or together with grasses, can stabilize savannas, blocking the conversion of savannas to forests. Negative feedbacks of forest trees on fire frequency shift the range of parameter space that supports savannas, but they do not generally alter our results. We propose that pyrogenic trees that modify characteristics of fire regimes are ecosystem engineers that facilitate the persistence of savannas, generating both threshold fire frequencies with rapid changes in community composition when these thresholds are crossed and hystereses with bistable community states.

  6. Ecosystem carbon dioxide fluxes after disturbance in forests of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    B. D. Amiro; A. G. Barr; J. G. Barr; T. A. Black; R. Bracho; al. et.

    2010-01-01

    [1] Disturbances are important for renewal of North American forests. Here we summarize more than 180 site years of eddy covariance measurements of carbon dioxide flux made at forest chronosequences in North America. The disturbances included standreplacing fire (Alaska, Arizona, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan) and harvest (British Columbia, Florida, New Brunswick, Oregon...

  7. Age structure and disturbance legacy of North American forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Y. Pan; J.M. Chen; R. Birdsey; K. McCullough; L. He; F. Deng

    2011-01-01

    Most forests of the world are recovering from a past disturbance. It is well known that forest disturbances profoundly affect carbon stocks and fluxes in forest ecosystems, yet it has been a great challenge to assess disturbance impacts in estimates of forest carbon budgets. Net sequestration or loss of CO2 by forests after disturbance follows a...

  8. Characterization of Forest Disturbance in California using Landsat Spectral Trajectories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reents, C.; Greenberg, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Natural and anthropogenic forest disturbances are a major contributor to global carbon fluxes, and can act as both a natural component of healthy ecosystem function and a threat to fragile ecosystems as well as human lives and property. The local and global impacts of a disturbance event depend in large part on the timing, intensity, and cause of the disturbance. With some disturbance types expected to increase in frequency and severity under the influence of climate change and increasing anthropogenic land use, knowledge of disturbance events and trends has become particularly crucial for a variety of scientific, political and management needs. Many studies have made use of time series analyses of multitemporal satellite imagery to study forest disturbance events at a variety of scales, but few have endeavored to attribute specific causal information to the disturbances detected, particularly at broad spatial and temporal scales. The purpose of this research is to investigate the suitability of a Landsat time series approach for detecting and describing causes of disturbance events across the heterogeneous, forested landscapes of California. Using existing GIS datasets detailing the locations of logging, fire, pest damage and land use conversion events statewide, we extracted the full Landsat time series (1984-2015) for six Landsat spectral bands at the location of each disturbance event. The characteristics of each time series vary depending on the nature of the disturbance occurring at that location. These differences can be harnessed as a way of differentiating disturbance types based on observed values before, during, and after the time of the event, which together comprise the disturbance's temporal signature. We applied a machine learning algorithm to these temporal signatures in order to construct a classification model linking disturbance type with the associated signature. We then applied this model to all forested areas in California using all Landsat 4

  9. Forest response and recovery following disturbance in upland forests of the Atlantic Coastal Plain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schäfer, Karina V R; Renninger, Heidi J; Carlo, Nicholas J; Vanderklein, Dirk W

    2014-01-01

    Carbon and water cycling of forests contribute significantly to the Earth's overall biogeochemical cycling and may be affected by disturbance and climate change. As a larger body of research becomes available about leaf-level, ecosystem and regional scale effects of disturbances on forest ecosystems, a more mechanistic understanding is developing which can improve modeling efforts. Here, we summarize some of the major effects of physical and biogenic disturbances, such as drought, prescribed fire, and insect defoliation, on leaf and ecosystem-scale physiological responses as well as impacts on carbon and water cycling in an Atlantic Coastal Plain upland oak/pine and upland pine forest. During drought, stomatal conductance and canopy stomatal conductance were reduced, however, defoliation increased conductance on both leaf-level and canopy scale. Furthermore, after prescribed fire, leaf-level stomatal conductance was unchanged for pines but decreased for oaks, while canopy stomatal conductance decreased temporarily, but then rebounded the following growing season, thus exhibiting transient responses. This study suggests that forest response to disturbance varies from the leaf to ecosystem level as well as species level and thus, these differential responses interplay to determine the fate of forest structure and functioning post disturbance.

  10. Boreal Forest Fire Cools Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randerson, J. T.; Liu, H.; Flanner, M.; Chambers, S. D.; Harden, J. W.; Hess, P. G.; Jin, Y.; Mack, M. C.; Pfister, G.; Schuur, E. A.; Treseder, K. K.; Welp, L. R.; Zender, C. S.

    2005-12-01

    We report measurements, modeling, and analysis of carbon and energy fluxes from a boreal forest fire that occurred in interior Alaska during 1999. In the first year after the fire, ozone production, atmospheric aerosol loading, greenhouse gas emissions, soot deposition, and decreases in summer albedo contributed to a positive annual radiative forcing (RF). These effects were partly offset by an increase in fall, winter, and spring albedo from reduced canopy cover and increased exposure of snow-covered surfaces. The atmospheric lifetime of aerosols and ozone and are relatively short (days to months). The radiative effects of soot on snow are also attenuated rapidly from the deposition of fresh snow. As a result, a year after the fire, only two classes of RF mechanisms remained: greenhouse gas emissions and post-fire changes in surface albedo. Summer albedo increased rapidly in subsequent years and was substantially higher than unburned control areas (by more than 0.03) after 4 years as a result of grass and shrub establishment. Satellite measurements from MODIS of other interior Alaska burn scars provided evidence that elevated levels of spring and summer albedo (relative to unburned control areas) persisted for at least 4 decades after fire. In parallel, our chamber, eddy covariance, and biomass measurements indicated that the post-fire ecosystems switch from a source to a sink within the first decade. Taken together, the extended period of increased spring and summer albedo and carbon uptake of intermediate-aged stands appears to more than offset the initial warming pulse caused by fire emissions, when compared using the RF concept. This result suggests that management of forests in northern countries to suppress fire and preserve carbon sinks may have the opposite effect on climate as that intended.

  11. Fire ecology of western Montana forest habitat types

    Science.gov (United States)

    William C. Fischer; Anne F. Bradley

    1987-01-01

    Provides information on fire as an ecological factor for forest habitat types in western Montana. Identifies Fire Groups of habitat types based on fire's role in forest succession. Describes forest fuels and suggests considerations for fire management.

  12. Topoedaphic and Forest Controls on Post-Fire Vegetation Assemblies Are Modified by Fire History and Burn Severity in the Northwestern Canadian Boreal Forest

    OpenAIRE

    Ellen Whitman; Marc-André Parisien; Dan K. Thompson; Mike D. Flannigan

    2018-01-01

    Wildfires, which constitute the most extensive natural disturbance of the boreal biome, produce a broad range of ecological impacts to vegetation and soils that may influence post-fire vegetation assemblies and seedling recruitment. We inventoried post-fire understory vascular plant communities and tree seedling recruitment in the northwestern Canadian boreal forest and characterized the relative importance of fire effects and fire history, as well as non-fire drivers (i.e., the topoedaphic c...

  13. Forest ecosystems: Vegetation, disturbance, and economics: Chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Littell, Jeremy S.; Hicke, Jeffrey A.; Shafer, Sarah L.; Capalbo, Susan M.; Houston, Laurie L.; Glick, Patty

    2013-01-01

    Forests cover about 47% of the Northwest (NW–Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) (Smith et al. 2009, fig. 5.1, table 5.1). The impacts of current and future climate change on NW forest ecosystems are a product of the sensitivities of ecosystem processes to climate and the degree to which humans depend on and interact with those systems. Forest ecosystem structure and function, particularly in relatively unmanaged forests where timber harvest and other land use have smaller effects, is sensitive to climate change because climate has a strong influence on ecosystem processes. Climate can affect forest structure directly through its control of plan physiology and life history (establishment, individual growth, productivity, and morality) or indirectly through its control of disturbance (fire, insects, disease). As climate changes, many forest processes will be affected, altering ecosystem services such as timber production and recreation. These changes have socioeconomic implications (e.g. for timber economies) and will require changes to current management of forests. Climate and management will interact to determine the forests of the future, and the scientific basis for adaptation to climate change in forests thus depends significantly on how forests will be affected.

  14. Role of Fire in Lodgepole Pine Forests

    OpenAIRE

    Lotan, James E; Brown, James K; Neuenschwander, Leon F

    1985-01-01

    Fire is one of the most important factors involved in the establishment and development of many lodgepole pine forests in North America. In the Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine is usually considered a fire-maintained seral type. But even here fires vary greatly in frequency, intensity, size, and other characteristics. A particular fire regime greatly affects forest succession, longevity of the species, stocking, and species composition; and fire also influences the incidence of insects and disea...

  15. Alerts of forest disturbance from MODIS imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, Dan; Kraft, Robin; Wheeler, David

    2014-12-01

    This paper reports the methodology and computational strategy for a forest cover disturbance alerting system. Analytical techniques from time series econometrics are applied to imagery from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor to detect temporal instability in vegetation indices. The characteristics from each MODIS pixel's spectral history are extracted and compared against historical data on forest cover loss to develop a geographically localized classification rule that can be applied across the humid tropical biome. The final output is a probability of forest disturbance for each 500 m pixel that is updated every 16 days. The primary objective is to provide high-confidence alerts of forest disturbance, while minimizing false positives. We find that the alerts serve this purpose exceedingly well in Pará, Brazil, with high probability alerts garnering a user accuracy of 98 percent over the training period and 93 percent after the training period (2000-2005) when compared against the PRODES deforestation data set, which is used to assess spatial accuracy. Implemented in Clojure and Java on the Hadoop distributed data processing platform, the algorithm is a fast, automated, and open source system for detecting forest disturbance. It is intended to be used in conjunction with higher-resolution imagery and data products that cannot be updated as quickly as MODIS-based data products. By highlighting hotspots of change, the algorithm and associated output can focus high-resolution data acquisition and aid in efforts to enforce local forest conservation efforts.

  16. Characterization of the Fire Regime and Drivers of Fires in the West African Tropical Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwomoh, F. K.; Wimberly, M. C.

    2016-12-01

    The Upper Guinean forest (UGF), encompassing the tropical regions of West Africa, is a globally significant biodiversity hotspot and a critically important socio-economic and ecological resource for the region. However, the UGF is one of the most human-disturbed tropical forest ecosystems with the only remaining large patches of original forests distributed in protected areas, which are embedded in a hotspot of climate stress & land use pressures, increasing their vulnerability to fire. We hypothesized that human impacts and climate interact to drive spatial and temporal variability in fire, with fire exhibiting distinctive seasonality and sensitivity to drought in areas characterized by different population densities, agricultural practices, vegetation types, and levels of forest degradation. We used the MODIS active fire product to identify and characterize fire activity in the major ecoregions of the UGF. We used TRMM rainfall data to measure climatic variability and derived indicators of human land use from a variety of geospatial datasets. We employed time series modeling to identify the influences of drought indices and other antecedent climatic indicators on temporal patterns of active fire occurrence. We used a variety of modeling approaches to assess the influences of human activities and land cover variables on the spatial pattern of fire activity. Our results showed that temporal patterns of fire activity in the UGF were related to precipitation, but these relationships were spatially heterogeneous. The pattern of fire seasonality varied geographically, reflecting both climatological patterns and agricultural practices. The spatial pattern of fire activity was strongly associated with vegetation gradients and anthropogenic activities occurring at fine spatial scales. The Guinean forest-savanna mosaic ecoregion had the most fires. This study contributes to our understanding of UGF fire regime and the spatio-temporal dynamics of tropical forest fires in

  17. [Measurement model of carbon emission from forest fire: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Hai-Qing; Wei, Shu-Jing; Jin, Sen; Sun, Long

    2012-05-01

    Forest fire is the main disturbance factor for forest ecosystem, and an important pathway of the decrease of vegetation- and soil carbon storage. Large amount of carbonaceous gases in forest fire can release into atmosphere, giving remarkable impacts on the atmospheric carbon balance and global climate change. To scientifically and effectively measure the carbonaceous gases emission from forest fire is of importance in understanding the significance of forest fire in the carbon balance and climate change. This paper reviewed the research progress in the measurement model of carbon emission from forest fire, which covered three critical issues, i. e., measurement methods of forest fire-induced total carbon emission and carbonaceous gases emission, affecting factors and measurement parameters of measurement model, and cause analysis of the uncertainty in the measurement of the carbon emissions. Three path selections to improve the quantitative measurement of the carbon emissions were proposed, i. e., using high resolution remote sensing data and improving algorithm and estimation accuracy of burned area in combining with effective fuel measurement model to improve the accuracy of the estimated fuel load, using high resolution remote sensing images combined with indoor controlled environment experiments, field measurements, and field ground surveys to determine the combustion efficiency, and combining indoor controlled environment experiments with field air sampling to determine the emission factors and emission ratio.

  18. Forest Fires and Adaptation Options in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Khabarov, N.; Krasovskii, A.; Obersteiner, M.; Swart, R.J.; Dosio, A.; San-Miguel-Ayanz, J.; Durrant, T.; Camia, A.; Migliavacca, M.

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents a quantitative assessment of adaptation options in the context of forest fires in Europe under projected climate change. A standalone fire model (SFM) based on a state-of-the-art large-scale forest fire modelling algorithm is used to explore fuel removal through prescribed

  19. Simulating historical disturbance regimes and stand structures in old-forest ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mike Hillis; Vick Applegate; Steve Slaughter; Michael G. Harrington; Helen Smith

    2001-01-01

    Forest Service land managers, with the collaborative assistance from research, applied a disturbance based restoration strategy to rehabilitate a greatly-altered, high risk Northern Rocky Mountain old-forest ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir stand. Age-class structure and fire history for the site have been documented in two research papers (Arno and others 1995, 1997)....

  20. Earthworms – good indicators for forest disturbance

    OpenAIRE

    YAHYA KOOCH; KATAYOUN HAGHVERDI

    2014-01-01

    In temperate forests, formation of canopy gaps by windthrow is a characteristic natural disturbance event. Little work has been done on the effects of canopy gaps on soil properties and fauna, especially earthworms as ecosystem engineers. We conducted a study to examine the reaction of earthworms (density/biomass) and different soil properties (i.e., soil moisture, pH, organic matter, total N, and available Ca) to different canopy gap areas in 25-ha areas of Liresar district beech forest loca...

  1. Simulating Changes in Fires and Ecology of the 21st Century Eurasian Boreal Forests of Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ksenia Brazhnik

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Wildfires release the greatest amount of carbon into the atmosphere compared to other forest disturbances. To understand how current and potential future fire regimes may affect the role of the Eurasian boreal forest in the global carbon cycle, we employed a new, spatially-explicit fire module DISTURB-F (DISTURBance-Fire in tandem with a spatially-explicit, individually-based gap dynamics model SIBBORK (SIBerian BOReal forest simulator calibrated to Krasnoyarsk Region. DISTURB-F simulates the effect of forest fire on the boreal ecosystem, namely the mortality of all or only the susceptible trees (loss of biomass, i.e., carbon within the forested landscape. The fire module captures some important feedbacks between climate, fire and vegetation structure. We investigated the potential climate-driven changes in the fire regime and vegetation in middle and south taiga in central Siberia, a region with extensive boreal forest and rapidly changing climate. The output from this coupled simulation can be used to estimate carbon losses from the ecosystem as a result of fires of different sizes and intensities over the course of secondary succession (decades to centuries. Furthermore, it may be used to assess the post-fire carbon storage capacity of potential future forests, the structure and composition of which may differ significantly from current Eurasian boreal forests due to regeneration under a different climate.

  2. Disturbance-mediated accelerated succession in two Michigan forest types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrams, Marc D.; Scott, Michael L.

    1989-01-01

    In northern lower Michigan, logging accelerated sugar maple (Acer saccharum) dominance in a northern white cedar (Thuja occidentals) community, and clear-cutting and burning quickly converted certain sites dominated by mature jack pine (Pinus banksiana) to early-succesional hardwoods, including Prunus, Populus, and Quercus. In both forest types the succeeding hardwoods should continue to increase in the future at the expense of the pioneer conifer species. In the cedar example, sugar maple was also increasing a an undisturbed, old-growth stand, but at a much reduced rate than in the logged stand. Traditionally, disturbance was through to set back succession to some earlier stage. However, out study sites and at least several other North American forest communities exhibited accelerated succession following a wide range of disturbances, including logging fire, ice storms, wind-throw, disease, insect attack, and herbicide spraying.

  3. Hollow tree fire is a useless forest fire category

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chromek Ivan

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the term “hollow tree fire“ was first used in a publication in 1956 without being well defined and was then uncritically used in other publications. The term refers to fires occurring in the rotted, inner trunks of trees. The main aim of the current study was to determine whether the term should be considered a useful category for the statistical analysis of forest fires. The nature and causes of fires from 2006–2015 were assessed by performing a detailed analysis of the Fire Rescue Service of the Czech Republic (FRS CR database. The database included a total of 7,256 fires in the natural environment, but only 18 of these were hollow tree fires. Most hollow tree fires were initiated by human carelessness, and only three were initiated by lightning. Based on our critical consideration of fire attributes, hollow tree fires should not be considered a category of forest fire. The presence of rotten trees is, however, a serious problem because such trees represent long-lasting sources of fire in forest stands and because they complicate firefighting. The numbers of rotten trees in forests is increasing, and firefighters should be made aware of the complications of extinguishing fires involving rotten trees in forests.

  4. Cordilleran forest scaling dynamics and disturbance regimes quantified by aerial LiDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyson L. Swetnam

    2013-01-01

    Semi-arid forests are in a period of rapid transition as a result of unprecedented landscape scale fires, insect outbreaks, drought, and anthropogenic land use practices. Understanding how historically episodic disturbances led to coherent forest structural and spatial patterns that promoted resilience and resistance is a critical part of addressing change. Here my...

  5. Disturbance Alters the Relative Importance of Topographic and Biogeochemical Controls on Microbial Activity in Temperate Montane Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca A. Lybrand

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Fire and pathogen-induced tree mortality are the two dominant forms of disturbance in Western U.S. montane forests. We investigated the consequences of both disturbance types on the controls of microbial activity in soils from 56 plots across a topographic gradient one year after the 2012 High Park wildfire in Colorado. Topsoil biogeochemistry, soil CO2 efflux, potential exoenzyme activities, and microbial biomass were quantified in plots that experienced fire disturbance, beetle disturbance, or both fire and beetle disturbance, and in plots where there was no recent evidence of disturbance. Soil CO2 efflux, N-, and P-degrading exoenzyme activities in undisturbed plots were positively correlated with soil moisture, estimated from a topographic wetness index; coefficient of determinations ranged from 0.5 to 0.65. Conversely, the same estimates of microbial activities from fire-disturbed and beetle-disturbed soils showed little correspondence to topographically inferred wetness, but demonstrated mostly negative relationships with soil pH (fire only and mostly positive relationships with DOC/TDN (dissolved organic carbon/total dissolved nitrogen ratios for both disturbance types. The coefficient of determination for regressions of microbial activity with soil pH and DOC/TDN reached 0.8 and 0.63 in fire- and beetle-disturbed forests, respectively. Drivers of soil microbial activity change as a function of disturbance type, suggesting simple mathematical models are insufficient in capturing the impact of disturbance in forests.

  6. Wireless Sensor Network for Forest Fire Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emansa Hasri Putra

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Forest fires are one of problems that threaten sustainability of the forest. Early prevention system for indications of forest fires is absolutely necessary. The extent of the forest to be one of the problems encountered in the forest condition monitoring. To overcome the problems of forest extent, designed a system of forest fire detection system by adopting the Wireless Sensor Network (WSN using multiple sensor nodes. Each sensor node has a microcontroller, transmitter/receiver and three sensors. Measurement method is performed by measuring the temperature, flame, the levels of methane, hydrocarbons, and CO2 in some forest area and the combustion of peat in a simulator. From results of measurements of temperature, levels of methane, a hydrocarbon gas and CO2 in an open area indicates there are no signs of fires due to the value of the temperature, methane, hydrocarbon gas, and CO2 is below the measurement in the space simulator.

  7. Fire and forest history at Mount Rushmore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Peter M; Wienk, Cody L; Symstad, Amy J

    2008-12-01

    Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota is known worldwide for its massive sculpture of four of the United States' most respected presidents. The Memorial landscape also is covered by extensive ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest that has not burned in over a century. We compiled dendroecological and forest structural data from 29 plots across the 517-ha Memorial and used fire behavior modeling to reconstruct the historical fire regime and forest structure and compare them to current conditions. The historical fire regime is best characterized as one of low-severity surface fires with occasional (> 100 years) patches (fire. We estimate that only approximately 3.3% of the landscape burned as crown fire during 22 landscape fire years (recorded at > or = 25% of plots) between 1529 and 1893. The last landscape fire was in 1893. Mean fire intervals before 1893 varied depending on spatial scale, from 34 years based on scar-to-scar intervals on individual trees to 16 years between landscape fire years. Modal fire intervals were 11-15 years and did not vary with scale. Fire rotation (the time to burn an area the size of the study area) was estimated to be 30 years for surface fire and 800+ years for crown fire. The current forest is denser and contains more small trees, fewer large trees, lower canopy base heights, and greater canopy bulk density than a reconstructed historical (1870) forest. Fire behavior modeling using the NEXUS program suggests that surface fires would have dominated fire behavior in the 1870 forest during both moderate and severe weather conditions, while crown fire would dominate in the current forest especially under severe weather. Changes in the fire regime and forest structure at Mount Rushmore parallel those seen in ponderosa pine forests from the southwestern United States. Shifts from historical to current forest structure and the increased likelihood of crown fire justify the need for forest restoration before a

  8. Idaho forest carbon projections from 2017 to 2117 under forest disturbance and climate change scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudak, A. T.; Crookston, N.; Kennedy, R. E.; Domke, G. M.; Fekety, P.; Falkowski, M. J.

    2017-12-01

    Commercial off-the-shelf lidar collections associated with tree measures in field plots allow aboveground biomass (AGB) estimation with high confidence. Predictive models developed from such datasets are used operationally to map AGB across lidar project areas. We use a random selection of these pixel-level AGB predictions as training for predicting AGB annually across Idaho and western Montana, primarily from Landsat time series imagery processed through LandTrendr. At both the landscape and regional scales, Random Forests is used for predictive AGB modeling. To project future carbon dynamics, we use Climate-FVS (Forest Vegetation Simulator), the tree growth engine used by foresters to inform forest planning decisions, under either constant or changing climate scenarios. Disturbance data compiled from LandTrendr (Kennedy et al. 2010) using TimeSync (Cohen et al. 2010) in forested lands of Idaho (n=509) and western Montana (n=288) are used to generate probabilities of disturbance (harvest, fire, or insect) by land ownership class (public, private) as well as the magnitude of disturbance. Our verification approach is to aggregate the regional, annual AGB predictions at the county level and compare them to annual county-level AGB summarized independently from systematic, field-based, annual inventories conducted by the US Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program nationally. This analysis shows that when federal lands are disturbed the magnitude is generally high and when other lands are disturbed the magnitudes are more moderate. The probability of disturbance in corporate lands is higher than in other lands but the magnitudes are generally lower. This is consistent with the much higher prevalence of fire and insects occurring on federal lands, and greater harvest activity on private lands. We found large forest carbon losses in drier southern Idaho, only partially offset by carbon gains in wetter northern Idaho, due to anticipated climate change. Public and

  9. Landscape patterns of montane forest age structure relative to fire history at Cheesman Lake in the Colorado Front Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurie S. Huckaby; Merrill R. Kaufmann; Jason M. Stoker; Paula J. Fornwalt

    2001-01-01

    Lack of Euro-American disturbance, except fire suppression, has preserved the patterns of forest structure that resulted from the presettlement disturbance regime in a ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir landscape at Cheesman Lake in the Colorado Front Range. A mixed-severity fire regime and variable timing of tree recruitment created a heterogeneous forest age structure with...

  10. Defining Old Growth for Fire-adapted Forests of the Western United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Merrill R. Kaufmann

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available There are varying definitions of old-growth forests because of differences in environment and differing fire influence across the Intermountain West. Two general types of forests reflect the role of fire: 1 forests shaped by natural changes in structure and species makeup - plant succession - that are driven by competitive differences among species and individual trees and by small-scale disturbances, and 2 forests where plant succession processes are disrupted by major biological disturbances (fire, insects, wind, or drought extending across larger areas. Some case examples of old-growth forests where fire was historically frequent are used. The examples sketch out the typical biophysical settings, fire regime, natural disturbance factors, spatial features of patches, and the processes and conditions that produce spatial changes of the landscape over time. These examples confirm the complexity of describing or defining old growth in frequent-fire forests. We define fire-adapted forests at three spatial scales, whereas the standard definition of old growth refers to a patch or stand condition. Our definition is based on ecological principles rather than on the cultural aspects of old growth. It focuses on central tendencies, given all the possible combinations of conditions and processes, that move forests toward old growth in the fire-adapted forests of the Intermountain West.

  11. Disturbance in boreal forest ecosystems: human impacts and natural processes. Proceedings of the International Boreal Forest Research Association 1997 annual meeting; 1997 August 4-7; Duluth, Minnesota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    The papers in these proceedings cover a wide range of topics related to human and natural disturbance processes in forests of the boreal zone in North America and Eurasia. Topics include historic and predicted landscape change; forest management; disturbance by insects, fire, air pollution, severe weather, and global climate change; and carbon cycling.

  12. Changing Forest Disturbance Regimes and Risk Perceptions in Homer, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtney G. F1int

    2007-01-01

    Forest disturbances caused by insects can lead to other disturbances, risks, and changes across landscapes. Evaluating the human dimensions of such disturbances furthers understanding of integrated changes in natural and social systems. This article examines the effects of changing forest disturbance regimes on local risk perceptions and attitudes in Homer, Alaska....

  13. Disturbance ecology and forest management: A review of the literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul Rogers

    1996-01-01

    This review of the disturbance ecology literature, and how it pertains to forest management, is a resource for forest managers and researchers interested in disturbance theory, specific disturbance agents, their interactions, and appropriate methods of inquiry for specific geographic regions. Implications for the future of disturbance ecology-based management are...

  14. Two keys for appraising forest fire fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George R. Fahnestock

    1970-01-01

    This is an attempt to characterize forest fire fuels in a new way. The immediate purpose is to provide means for recognizing and tentatively evaluating, in the field, the fire spread potential and the crowning potential of fuels on the basis of readily observed characteristics without need for prior technical knowledge of vegetation or experience with fire. The medium...

  15. Earthworms – good indicators for forest disturbance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YAHYA KOOCH

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available In temperate forests, formation of canopy gaps by windthrow is a characteristic natural disturbance event. Little work has been done on the effects of canopy gaps on soil properties and fauna, especially earthworms as ecosystem engineers. We conducted a study to examine the reaction of earthworms (density/biomass and different soil properties (i.e., soil moisture, pH, organic matter, total N, and available Ca to different canopy gap areas in 25-ha areas of Liresar district beech forest located in a temperate forest of Mazandaran province in the north of Iran. Soil samples were taken at 0-15, 15-30 and 30-45 cm depths from gap center, gap edge and closed canopy using core soil sampler with 81 cm2 cross section. The earthworms were collected simultaneously with the soil sampling by hand sorting method. Our study supports that the canopy gap will create a mosaic of environmental conditions. Earthworm's density and biomass tended to be higher in small canopy gaps compared with the other canopy gap areas. Earthworm's population showed decreasing trend from closed canopy to disturbed sites (gap edge and gap center. The top soil was more appropriate to presence of earthworms although ecological groups have occupied different soil layers. As a conclusion, earthworms can be introduced as good bio-indicator of environmental changes that occur by disturbance.

  16. Natural Variability of Mexican Forest Fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velasco-Herrera, Graciela; Velasco Herrera, Victor Manuel; Kemper-Valverdea, N.

    The purpose of this paper was 1) to present a new algorithm for analyzing the forest fires, 2) to discuss the present understanding of the natural variability at different scales with special emphasis on Mexico conditions since 1972, 3) to analyze the internal and external factors affecting forest fires for example ENSO and Total Solar Irradiance, and 4) to discuss the implications of this knowledge, on research and on restoration and management methods, which purpose is to enhance forest biodiversity conservation. 5) We present an estimate of the Mexican forest fires for the next decade. These results may be useful to minimize human and economic losses.

  17. Spatiotemporal dynamics of forest degradation by selective logging and forest fire in the Brazilian Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matricardi, Eraldo A. T.

    Selective logging and forest fires have increased at a rapid pace in tropical regions in recent decades. Forest disturbances caused by selective logging and forest fires may vary in scale, ranging from local damage to forest canopy, habitats, soils, and biodiversity, to global changes caused by logging-related release of carbon into the atmosphere. This study provides a regional assessment of forest impacts by selective logging and forest fires for 1992, 1996, and 1999. Multivariate statistical models, remote sensing approaches, Geographic Information System (GIS), and remotely sensed imagery combined with field data were applied to verify the scale of environmental changes associated with these processes of forest disturbance. In this regard, the study widens the current knowledge on land use and land cover classifications to include selectively logged and burned forests as additional thematic classes. These classes have not yet been properly accounted for by conventional remote sensing approaches of deforestation assessment, despite their relevance for the understanding of the changes affecting tropical forests. This study is the first multi-temporal and spatial assessment of the selective logging and forest fire impacts in the Brazilian Amazon. The resulting estimates show that at least 11800 km 2, 16500 km2, and 35600 km2 of natural forests were selectively logged and/or burned by 1992, 1996, and 1999, respectively. More than 60% of these forest disturbances observed in the Brazilian Amazon during those years were due to selective logging activities. However, forest fires were responsible for the greatest impacts on natural forests, causing an estimated loss of 18.8% of forest canopy in the study region. I also estimated that approximately 5467 km2, 7618 km2, and 17437 km2 were active areas of selective logging and/or forest fires in 1992, 1996, and 1999, respectively. In addition, approximately 4% of total forest disturbed by selective logging and forest fires

  18. Comparing modern and presettlement forest dynamics of a subboreal wilderness: does spruce budworm enhance fire risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturtevant, Brian R; Miranda, Brian R; Shinneman, Douglas J; Gustafson, Eric J; Wolter, Peter T

    2012-06-01

    Insect disturbance is often thought to increase fire risk through enhanced fuel loadings, particularly in coniferous forest ecosystems. Yet insect disturbances also affect successional pathways and landscape structure that interact with fire disturbances (and vice-versa) over longer time scales. We applied a landscape succession and disturbance model (LANDIS-II) to evaluate the relative strength of interactions between spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) outbreaks and fire disturbances in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) in northern Minnesota (USA). Disturbance interactions were evaluated for two different scenarios: presettlement forests and fire regimes vs. contemporary forests and fire regimes. Forest composition under the contemporary scenario trended toward mixtures of deciduous species (primarily Betula papyrifera and Populus spp.) and shade-tolerant conifers (Picea mariana, Abies balsamea, Thuja occidentalis), with disturbances dominated by a combination of budworm defoliation and high-severity fires. The presettlement scenario retained comparatively more "big pines" (i.e., Pinus strobus, P. resinosa) and tamarack (L. laricina), and experienced less budworm disturbance and a comparatively less-severe fire regime. Spruce budworm disturbance decreased area burned and fire severity under both scenarios when averaged across the entire 300-year simulations. Contrary to past research, area burned and fire severity during outbreak decades were each similar to that observed in non-outbreak decades. Our analyses suggest budworm disturbances within forests of the BWCA have a comparatively weak effect on long-term forest composition due to a combination of characteristics. These include strict host specificity, fine-scaled patchiness created by defoliation damage, and advance regeneration of its primary host, balsam fir (A. balsamea) that allows its host to persist despite repeated disturbances. Understanding the nature of the three-way interaction between

  19. Comparing modern and presettlement forest dynamics of a subboreal wilderness: Does spruce budworm enhance fire risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturtevant, Brian R.; Miranda, Brian R.; Shinneman, Douglas J.; Gustafson, Eric J.; Wolter, Peter T.

    2012-01-01

    Insect disturbance is often thought to increase fire risk through enhanced fuel loadings, particularly in coniferous forest ecosystems. Yet insect disturbances also affect successional pathways and landscape structure that interact with fire disturbances (and vice-versa) over longer time scales. We applied a landscape succession and disturbance model (LANDIS-II) to evaluate the relative strength of interactions between spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) outbreaks and fire disturbances in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) in northern Minnesota (USA). Disturbance interactions were evaluated for two different scenarios: presettlement forests and fire regimes vs. contemporary forests and fire regimes. Forest composition under the contemporary scenario trended toward mixtures of deciduous species (primarily Betula papyrifera and Populus spp.) and shade-tolerant conifers (Picea mariana, Abies balsamea, Thuja occidentalis), with disturbances dominated by a combination of budworm defoliation and high-severity fires. The presettlement scenario retained comparatively more “big pines” (i.e., Pinus strobus, P. resinosa) and tamarack (L. laricina), and experienced less budworm disturbance and a comparatively less-severe fire regime. Spruce budworm disturbance decreased area burned and fire severity under both scenarios when averaged across the entire 300-year simulations. Contrary to past research, area burned and fire severity during outbreak decades were each similar to that observed in non-outbreak decades. Our analyses suggest budworm disturbances within forests of the BWCA have a comparatively weak effect on long-term forest composition due to a combination of characteristics. These include strict host specificity, fine-scaled patchiness created by defoliation damage, and advance regeneration of its primary host, balsam fir (A. balsamea) that allows its host to persist despite repeated disturbances. Understanding the nature of the three-way interaction

  20. Fire and vegetation dynamics in high-elevation neotropical montane forests of the Dominican Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, Ruth E; Martin, Patrick H; Fahey, Timothy J; Degloria, Steve D

    2008-12-01

    In March and April 2005, severe fires burned over 1000 km2 of tropical montane forests in the Cordillera Central, Dominican Republic. The fire burned through our network of permanent vegetation plots, which were established in 1999 to examine interactions among environment, vegetation, and disturbance. We used QuickBird satellite imagery combined with field surveys to map the extent and severity of the fire across the landscape. The fire burned through 96% of the pine forest but quickly extinguished at the pine-cloud forest boundary along most of the ecotone. Topographic factors and fire severity had no influence on fire behavior at the ecotone. These observations support our original hypothesis that fire maintains the abrupt boundary between the pine and cloud forest vegetation in these mountains. Vegetation structure and composition played a direct role in regulating fire spread and behavior in this landscape.

  1. Fire risk and adaptation strategies in Northern Eurasian forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shvidenko, Anatoly; Schepaschenko, Dmitry

    2013-04-01

    On-going climatic changes substantially accelerate current fire regimes in Northern Eurasian ecosystems, particularly in forests. During 1998-2012, wildfires enveloped on average ~10.5 M ha year-1 in Russia with a large annual variation (between 3 and 30 M ha) and average direct carbon emissions at ~150 Tg C year-1. Catastrophic fires, which envelope large areas, spread in usually incombustible wetlands, escape from control and provide extraordinary negative impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, economics, infrastructure, environment, and health of population, become a typical feature of the current fire regimes. There are new evidences of correlation between catastrophic fires and large-scale climatic anomalies at a continental scale. While current climatic predictions suggest the dramatic warming (at the average at 6-7 °C for the country and up to 10-12°C in some northern continental regions), any substantial increase of summer precipitation does not expected. Increase of dryness and instability of climate will impact fire risk and severity of consequences. Current models suggest a 2-3 fold increase of the number of fires by the end of this century in the boreal zone. They predict increases of the number of catastrophic fires; a significant increase in the intensity of fire and amount of consumed fuel; synergies between different types of disturbances (outbreaks of insects, unregulated anthropogenic impacts); acceleration of composition of the gas emissions due to enhanced soil burning. If boreal forests would become a typing element, the mass mortality of trees would increase fire risk and severity. Permafrost melting and subsequent change of hydrological regimes very likely will lead to the degradation and destruction of boreal forests, as well as to the widespread irreversible replacement of forests by other underproductive vegetation types. A significant feedback between warming and escalating fire regimes is very probable in Russia and particularly in the

  2. Degraded forests are more susceptible to forest fires: Some possible ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There is a strong belief that degraded forests are more susceptible to forest fires than non-degraded ones, but this is more intuitive than scientifically proven. The present study was conducted to investigate how fuel loading and moisture content of combustible materials; two variables that influence ignition and fire impact ...

  3. Ecosystem Disturbance Effects on Land Surface Temperature, Forest Carbon Stocks, and Primary Productivity in the Western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, L. A.; Ballantyne, A.; Holden, Z. A.; Landguth, E.

    2015-12-01

    Disturbance plays an important role in the structure, composition, and nutrient cycling of forest ecosystems. Climate change is resulting in an increase in disturbance frequency and intensity, making it critical that we quantify the physical and chemical impacts of disturbances on forests. The impacts of disturbance are thought to vary widely depending on disturbance type, location, and climate. More specifically, fires, insect infestations, and other types of disturbances differ in their timing, extent, and intensity making it difficult to assess the true impact of disturbances on local energy budgets and carbon cycling. Here, we provide a regional analysis of the impacts of fire, insect attack, and other disturbances on land surface temperature (LST), carbon stocks, and gross primary productivity (GPP). Using disturbances detected with MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) time series between 2002 and 2012, we find that the impacts of disturbance on LST, carbon stocks, and GPP vary widely according to local climate, vegetation, and disturbance type and intensity. Fires resulted in the most distinct impacts on all response variables. Forest responses to insect epidemics were more varied in their magnitude and timing. The results of this study provide an important estimation of the variability of climate and ecosystem responses to disturbance across a large and heterogeneous landscape. With disturbance projected to increase in both frequency and intensity around the globe in the coming years, this information is vitally important to effectively manage forests into the future.

  4. Forest Disturbance Across the Conterminous United States from 1985-2012: The Emerging Dominance of Forest Decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Warren B.; Yang, Zhiqiang; Stehman, Stephen; Schroeder, Todd; Bell, David M.; Masek, Jeffrey; Huang, Chengquan; Meigs, Garrett W.

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of shifting dominance among major forest disturbance agent classes regionally to globally has been emerging in the literature. For example, climate-related stress and secondary stressors on forests (e.g., insect and disease, fire) have dramatically increased since the turn of the century globally, while harvest rates in the western US and elsewhere have declined. For shifts to be quantified, accurate historical forest disturbance estimates are required as a baseline for examining current trends. We report annual disturbance rates (with uncertainties) in the aggregate and by major change causal agent class for the conterminous US and five geographic subregions between 1985 and 2012. Results are based on human interpretations of Landsat time series from a probability sample of 7200 plots (30 m) distributed throughout the study area. Forest disturbance information was recorded with a Landsat time series visualization and data collection tool that incorporates ancillary high-resolution data. National rates of disturbance varied between 1.5% and 4.5% of forest area per year, with trends being strongly affected by shifting dominance among specific disturbance agent influences at the regional scale. Throughout the time series, national harvest disturbance rates varied between one and two percent, and were largely a function of harvest in the more heavily forested regions of the US (Mountain West, Northeast, and Southeast). During the first part of the time series, national disturbance rates largely reflected trends in harvest disturbance. Beginning in the mid-90s, forest decline-related disturbances associated with diminishing forest health (e.g., physiological stress leading to tree canopy cover loss, increases in tree mortality above background levels), especially in the Mountain West and Lowland West regions of the US, increased dramatically. Consequently, national disturbance rates greatly increased by 2000, and remained high for much of the decade. Decline

  5. Reconstructing Fire Disturbances in Coastal Temperate Rainforests on the Central Coast of British Columbia, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Kira; Smith, Dan; Lertzman, Ken; Starzomski, Brian

    2015-04-01

    The coastal temperate rainforests of British Columbia's Central Coast are comprised of old growth, mixed-age stands and a mosaic of non-forested bogs. This region receives approximately 4000 mm of annual rainfall, and fire disturbances caused by lightning are thought to be very rare. Because of the late successional characteristics of these forests and the presumed lack of visible fire evidence, fires have been estimated to occur at up to 6000-year return intervals. We attempt to distinguish the roles of natural and cultural (First Nations) fires using multiple lines of evidence from tree ring records, fire-scarred trees, soil charcoal and archaeological evidence from First Nations settlement areas. To reconstruct the Holocene fire history of the study area located on Hecate Island (N 51 38 W -128 05), thirty 400m2 forest mensuration plots were systematically established in a 287-hectare area burned in 1893. Analyses focused on the relationship between fire events and climate recorded in tree rings and instrumental records, as well as nutrient concentrations and pH of soils and plant community characteristics. Four fire events (1893, 1776, 1525, 1372) were recorded in forty-five living, fire-scarred western redcedar (Thuja plicata), yellow cedar (Xanthocyparis nootkatensis) and shore pine (Pinus contorta var. contorta) trees. Five additional fire events (1785 Cal BP, 2760 Cal BP, 3355 Cal BP, 4735 Cal BP, 7740 Cal BP) were dated with accelerated mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating of in situ macro charcoal (> 5mm) buried in stratigraphy in both organic and mineral soils. The short intervals between fire events, coupled with the long history of First Nations settlement and land use in the study area, suggest purposeful and repeated low-intensity ground fires. Our research demonstrates that fires are more widespread and common than previously recorded on the very wet Central Coast of British Columbia. It is important to incorporate cultural fires into fire history

  6. Mapping forest canopy disturbance in the Upper Great Lakes, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    James D. Garner; Mark D. Nelson; Brian G. Tavernia; Charles H. (Hobie) Perry; Ian W. Housman

    2015-01-01

    A map of forest canopy disturbance was generated for Michigan, Wisconsin, and most of Minnesota using 42 Landsat time series stacks (LTSS) and a vegetation change tracker (VCTw) algorithm. Corresponding winter imagery was used to reduce commission errors of forest disturbance by identifying areas of persistent snow cover. The resulting disturbance age map was classed...

  7. Carbon changes in conterminous US forests associated with growth and major disturbances: 1992-2001

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng Daolan; Ducey, Mark J; Heath, Linda S; Smith, James E

    2011-01-01

    We estimated forest area and carbon changes in the conterminous United States using a remote sensing based land cover change map, forest fire data from the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity program, and forest growth and harvest data from the USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis Program. Natural and human-associated disturbances reduced the forest ecosystems' carbon sink by 36% from 1992 to 2001, compared to that without disturbances in the 48 states. Among the three identified disturbances, forest-related land cover change contributed 33% of the total effect in reducing the forest carbon potential sink, while harvests and fires accounted for 63% and 4% of the total effect, respectively. The nation's forests sequestered 1.6 ± 0.1 Pg (10 15 petagram) carbon during the period, or 0.18 Pg C yr -1 , with substantial regional variation. The southern region of the United States was a small net carbon source whereas the greater Pacific Northwest region was a strong net sink. Results of the approach fit reasonably well at an aggregate level with other related estimates of the current forest US greenhouse gas inventory, suggesting that further research using this approach is warranted.

  8. Avian community responses to post-fire forest structure: Implications for fire management in mixed conifer forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Angela M.; Manley, Patricia N.; Tarbill, Gina; Richardson, T.L.; Russell, Robin E.; Safford, Hugh D.; Dobrowski, Solomon Z.

    2015-01-01

    Fire is a natural process and the dominant disturbance shaping plant and animal communities in many coniferous forests of the western US. Given that fire size and severity are predicted to increase in the future, it has become increasingly important to understand how wildlife responds to fire and post-fire management. The Angora Fire burned 1243 hectares of mixed conifer forest in South Lake Tahoe, California. We conducted avian point counts for the first 3 years following the fire in burned and unburned areas to investigate which habitat characteristics are most important for re-establishing or maintaining the native avian community in post-fire landscapes. We used a multi-species occurrence model to estimate how avian species are influenced by the density of live and dead trees and shrub cover. While accounting for variations in the detectability of species, our approach estimated the occurrence probabilities of all species detected including those that were rare or observed infrequently. Although all species encountered in this study were detected in burned areas, species-specific modeling results predicted that some species were strongly associated with specific post-fire conditions, such as a high density of dead trees, open-canopy conditions or high levels of shrub cover that occur at particular burn severities or at a particular time following fire. These results indicate that prescribed fire or managed wildfire which burns at low to moderate severity without at least some high-severity effects is both unlikely to result in the species assemblages that are unique to post-fire areas or to provide habitat for burn specialists. Additionally, the probability of occurrence for many species was associated with high levels of standing dead trees indicating that intensive post-fire harvest of these structures could negatively impact habitat of a considerable proportion of the avian community.

  9. Bird communities following high-severity fire: Response to single and repeat fires in a mixed-evergreen forest, Oregon, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph B. Fontaine; Daniel C. Donato; W. Douglas Robinson; Beverly E. Law; J. Boone Kauffman

    2009-01-01

    Fire is a widespread natural disturbance agent in most conifer-dominated forests. In light of climate change and the effects of fire exclusion, single and repeated high-severity (stand-replacement) fires have become prominent land management issues. We studied bird communities using point counting in the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion of Oregon, USA at various points in...

  10. Historic disturbance regimes promote tree diversity only under low browsing regimes in eastern deciduous forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tim Nuttle; Alejandro A. Royo; Mary Beth Adams; Walter P. Carson

    2013-01-01

    Eastern deciduous forests are changing in species composition and diversity outside of classical successional trajectories. Three disturbance mechanisms appear central to this phenomenon: fire frequency is reduced, canopy gaps are smaller, and browsers are more abundant. Which factor is most responsible is a matter of great debate and remains unclear, at least partly...

  11. Dynamic Properties of a Forest Fire Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Min

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The reaction-diffusion equations have been widely used in physics, chemistry, and other areas. Forest fire can also be described by such equations. We here propose a fighting forest fire model. By using the normal form approach theory and center manifold theory, we analyze the stability of the trivial solution and Hopf bifurcation of this model. Finally, we give the numerical simulations to illustrate the effectiveness of our results.

  12. Spatiotemporal patterns of fire-induced forest mortality in boreal regions and its potential drivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, J.; Tian, H.; Pan, S.; Hansen, M.; Wang, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Wildfire is the major natural disturbance in boreal forests, which have substantially affected various biological and biophysical processes. Although a few previous studies examined fire severity in boreal regions and reported a higher fire-induced forest mortality in boreal North America than in boreal Eurasia, it remains unclear how this mortality changes over time and how environmental factors affect the temporal dynamics of mortality at a large scale. By using a combination of multiple sources of satellite observations, we investigate the spatiotemporal patterns of fire-induced forest mortality in boreal regions, and examine the contributions of potential drivers. Our results show that forest composition is the key factor influencing the spatial variations of fire mortality across ecoregions. For the temporal variations, we find that the late-season burning was associated with higher fire intensity, which lead to greater forest mortality than the early-season burning. Forests burned in the warm and dry years had greater mortality than those burned in the cool and wet years. Our findings suggest that climate warming and drying not only stimulated boreal fire frequency, but also enhanced fire severity and forest mortality. Due to the significant effects of forest mortality on vegetation structure and ecosystem carbon dynamics, the spatiotemporal changes of fire-induced forest mortality should be explicitly considered to better understand fire impacts on regional and global climate change.

  13. Long-Term Post-Disturbance Forest Recovery in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Analyzed Using Landsat Time Series Stack

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng R. Zhao

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Forest recovery from past disturbance is an integral process of ecosystem carbon cycles, and remote sensing provides an effective tool for tracking forest disturbance and recovery over large areas. Although the disturbance products (tracking the conversion from forest to non-forest type derived using the Landsat Time Series Stack-Vegetation Change Tracker (LTSS-VCT algorithm have been validated extensively for mapping forest disturbances across the United States, the ability of this approach to characterize long-term post-disturbance recovery (the conversion from non-forest to forest has yet to be assessed. In this study, the LTSS-VCT approach was applied to examine long-term (up to 24 years post-disturbance forest spectral recovery following stand-clearing disturbances (fire and harvests in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE. Using high spatial resolution images from Google Earth, we validated the detectable forest recovery status mapped by VCT by year 2011. Validation results show that the VCT was able to map long-term post-disturbance forest recovery with overall accuracy of ~80% for different disturbance types and forest types in the GYE. Harvested areas in the GYE have higher percentages of forest recovery than burned areas by year 2011, and National Forests land generally has higher recovery rates compared with National Parks. The results also indicate that forest recovery is highly related with forest type, elevation and environmental variables such as soil type. Findings from this study can provide valuable insights for ecosystem modeling that aim to predict future carbon dynamics by integrating fine scale forest recovery conditions in GYE, in the face of climate change. With the availability of the VCT product nationwide, this approach can also be applied to examine long-term post-disturbance forest recovery in other study regions across the U.S.

  14. Reducing social losses from forest fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory S. Amacher; Arun S. Malik; Robert G. Haight

    2006-01-01

    We evaluate two financial incentives to encourage nonindustrial forest landowners to undertake activities that mitigate fire losses: sharing of fire suppression costs by the landowner and sharing of fuel reduction costs by the government. First and second best outcomes are identified and compared to assess the effectiveness of these incentives in reducing social...

  15. A stochastic forest fire model for future land cover scenarios assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. D' Andrea; P. Fiorucci; T.P. Holmes

    2011-01-01

    Land cover is affected by many factors including economic development, climate and natural disturbances such as wildfires. The ability to evaluate how fire regimes may alter future vegetation, and how future vegetation may alter fire regimes, would assist forest managers in planning management actions to be carried out in the face of anticipated socio-economic and...

  16. The principles of measuring forest fire danger

    Science.gov (United States)

    H. T. Gisborne

    1936-01-01

    Research in fire danger measurement was commenced in 1922 at the Northern Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station of the U. S. Forest Service, with headquarters at Missoula, Mont. Since then investigations have been made concerning ( 1) what to measure, (2) how to measure, and ( 3) field use of these measurements. In all cases the laboratory or restricted...

  17. Forest disturbance interactions and successional pathways in the Southern Rocky Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu Liang,; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Zhu, Zhiliang; Xuecao Li,; Peng Gong,

    2016-01-01

    The pine forests in the southern portion of the Rocky Mountains are a heterogeneous mosaic of disturbance and recovery. The most extensive and intensive stress and mortality are received from human activity, fire, and mountain pine beetles (MPB;Dendroctonus ponderosae). Understanding disturbance interactions and disturbance-succession pathways are crucial for adapting management strategies to mitigate their impacts and anticipate future ecosystem change. Driven by this goal, we assessed the forest disturbance and recovery history in the Southern Rocky Mountains Ecoregion using a 13-year time series of Landsat image stacks. An automated classification workflow that integrates temporal segmentation techniques and a random forest classifier was used to examine disturbance patterns. To enhance efficiency in selecting representative samples at the ecoregion scale, a new sampling strategy that takes advantage of the scene-overlap among adjacent Landsat images was designed. The segment-based assessment revealed that the overall accuracy for all 14 scenes varied from 73.6% to 92.5%, with a mean of 83.1%. A design-based inference indicated the average producer’s and user’s accuracies for MPB mortality were 85.4% and 82.5% respectively. We found that burn severity was largely unrelated to the severity of pre-fire beetle outbreaks in this region, where the severity of post-fire beetle outbreaks generally decreased in relation to burn severity. Approximately half the clear-cut and burned areas were in various stages of recovery, but the regeneration rate was much slower for MPB-disturbed sites. Pre-fire beetle outbreaks and subsequent fire produced positive compound effects on seedling reestablishment in this ecoregion. Taken together, these results emphasize that although multiple disturbances do play a role in the resilience mechanism of the serotinous lodgepole pine, the overall recovery could be slow due to the vast area of beetle mortality.

  18. Effects of Burn Severity and Environmental Conditions on Post-Fire Regeneration in Siberian Larch Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thuan Chu

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Post-fire forest regeneration is strongly influenced by abiotic and biotic heterogeneity in the pre- and post-fire environments, including fire regimes, species characteristics, landforms, hydrology, regional climate, and soil properties. Assessing these drivers is key to understanding the long-term effects of fire disturbances on forest succession. We evaluated multiple factors influencing patterns of variability in a post-fire boreal Larch (Larix sibirica forest in Siberia. A time-series of remote sensing images was analyzed to estimate post-fire recovery as a response variable across the burned area in 1996. Our results suggested that burn severity and water content were primary controllers of both Larch forest recruitment and green vegetation cover as defined by the forest recovery index (FRI and the fractional vegetation cover (FVC, respectively. We found a high rate of Larch forest recruitment in sites of moderate burn severity, while a more severe burn was the preferable condition for quick occupation by vegetation that included early seral communities of shrubs, grasses, conifers and broadleaf trees. Sites close to water and that received higher solar energy during the summer months showed a higher rate of both recovery types, defined by the FRI and FVC, dependent on burn severity. In addition to these factors, topographic variables and pre-fire condition were important predictors of post-fire forest patterns. These results have direct implications for the post-fire forest management in the Siberian boreal Larch region.

  19. A soil burn severity index for understanding soil-fire relations in tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, T.B.; Gould, W.A.; Graham, R.T.; Pilliod, D.S.; Lentile, L.B.; Gonzalez, G.

    2008-01-01

    Methods for evaluating the impact of fires within tropical forests are needed as fires become more frequent and human populations and demands on forests increase. Short- and long-term fire effects on soils are determined by the prefire, fire, and postfire environments. We placed these components within a fire-disturbance continuum to guide our literature synthesis and develop an integrated soil burn severity index. The soil burn severity index provides a set of indicators that reflect the range of conditions present after a fire. The index consists of seven levels, an unburned level and six other levels that describe a range of postfire soil conditions. We view this index as a tool for understanding the effects of fires on the forest floor, with the realization that as new information is gained, the index may be modified as warranted. ?? Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2008.

  20. Fire ecology of the forest habitat types of northern Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jane Kapler Smith; William C. Fischer

    1997-01-01

    Provides information on fire ecology in forest habitat and community types occurring in northern Idaho. Identifies fire groups based on presettlement fire regimes and patterns of succession and stand development after fire. Describes forest fuels and suggests considerations for fire management.

  1. Long-term demographic trends in a fire-suppressed mixed-conifer forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrie R. Levine; Flora Krivak-Tetley; Natalie S. van Doorn; Jolie-Anne S. Ansley; John J. Battles

    2016-01-01

    In the western United States, forests are experiencing novel environmental conditions related to a changing climate and a suppression of the historical fire regime. Mixed-conifer forests, considered resilient to disturbance due to their heterogeneity in structure and composition, appear to be shifting to a more homogeneous state, but the timescale of these shifts is...

  2. Simulating the interactions of forest structure, fire regime, and plant invasion in the southern Appalachians using LANDIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weimin Xi; Szu-Hung Chen; Andrew G. Birt; John D. Waldron; Charles W. Lafon; David M. Cairns; Maria D. Tchakerian; Kier D. Klepzig; Robert N. Coulson

    2011-01-01

    Southern Appalachian forests face multiple environmental threats, including periodic fires, insect outbreaks, and more recently, exotic invasive plants. Past studies suggest these multiple disturbances interact to shape species-rich forest landscape, and they hypothesize that changes in fire regimes and increasing landscape fragmentation may influence invasive...

  3. Landscape-scale disturbances modified bird community dynamics in successional forest environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qing; Azeria, Ermias T; Le Blanc, Mélanie-Louise; Lemaître, Jérôme; Fortin, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystem-based forest management strives to develop silvicultural practices that best emulate natural disturbances such as wildfire to conserve biodiversity representative of natural forest ecosystems. Yet, current logging practices alter forest structure and reduce the proportion of old-growth forest and, consequently, can exert long-term effects on the dynamics of forest biota. The stand- and landscape-scale factors driving bird community dynamics in post-disturbance environment remain poorly understood. In this study, we examined bird community dynamics along successional gradients in boreal ecosystems originating from fire and logging in landscapes dominated by old-growth forest. We tested if bird species richness and community compositions in clear-cutting stands became comparable to those in natural stands after 70 years, and identified the relative contributions of stand- and landscape-scale forest attributes in bird community dynamics. Based on records of bird occurrences at 185 field sites in natural and clearcutting stands, we demonstrate that (1) both forest structures and bird communities underwent evident changes along successional gradients in post-clearcutting environment; (2) bird species richness and community composition in 60- to 70-years-old clearcutting stands still differed from those in 50- to 79-years-old natural stands, in spite of the fact that most forest attributes of clearcutting stands became comparable to those of natural stands after 40 years; and (3) landscape disturbances contributed more than stand characteristics in explaining the lack of convergence of mature forest species, residents, and short-distance migrants in post-clearcutting environment. Our study points out that more regards should be paid to improve the landscape configuration of the managed forests, and implies that old-growth forest retention within logged areas, combined with selection cutting and prolonged logging rotations, can better emulate fire and alleviate

  4. Landscape-scale disturbances modified bird community dynamics in successional forest environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Zhao

    Full Text Available Ecosystem-based forest management strives to develop silvicultural practices that best emulate natural disturbances such as wildfire to conserve biodiversity representative of natural forest ecosystems. Yet, current logging practices alter forest structure and reduce the proportion of old-growth forest and, consequently, can exert long-term effects on the dynamics of forest biota. The stand- and landscape-scale factors driving bird community dynamics in post-disturbance environment remain poorly understood. In this study, we examined bird community dynamics along successional gradients in boreal ecosystems originating from fire and logging in landscapes dominated by old-growth forest. We tested if bird species richness and community compositions in clear-cutting stands became comparable to those in natural stands after 70 years, and identified the relative contributions of stand- and landscape-scale forest attributes in bird community dynamics. Based on records of bird occurrences at 185 field sites in natural and clearcutting stands, we demonstrate that (1 both forest structures and bird communities underwent evident changes along successional gradients in post-clearcutting environment; (2 bird species richness and community composition in 60- to 70-years-old clearcutting stands still differed from those in 50- to 79-years-old natural stands, in spite of the fact that most forest attributes of clearcutting stands became comparable to those of natural stands after 40 years; and (3 landscape disturbances contributed more than stand characteristics in explaining the lack of convergence of mature forest species, residents, and short-distance migrants in post-clearcutting environment. Our study points out that more regards should be paid to improve the landscape configuration of the managed forests, and implies that old-growth forest retention within logged areas, combined with selection cutting and prolonged logging rotations, can better emulate

  5. Forest economics, natural disturbances and the new ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas P. Holmes; Robert J. Huggett; John M. Pye

    2008-01-01

    The major thesis of this chapter is that the economic analysis of forest disturbances will be enhanced by linking economic and ecologic models. Although we only review a limited number of concepts drawn generally from mathematical and empirical ecology, the overarching theme we present is that ecological models of forest disturbance processes are complex and not...

  6. Effects of multiple interacting disturbances and salvage logging on forest carbon stocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, J.B.; Fraver, S.; Milo, A.M.; D'Amato, A.W.; Palik, B.; Shinneman, D.J.

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is anticipated to increase the frequency of disturbances, potentially impacting carbon stocks in terrestrial ecosystems. However, little is known about the implications of either multiple disturbances or post-disturbance forest management activities on ecosystem carbon stocks. This study quantified how forest carbon stocks responded to stand-replacing blowdown and wildfire, both individually and in combination with and without post-disturbance salvage operations, in a sub-boreal jack pine ecosystem. Individually, blowdown or fire caused similar decreases in live carbon and total ecosystem carbon. However, whereas blowdown increased carbon in down woody material and forest floor, fire increased carbon in standing snags, a difference that may have consequences for long-term carbon cycling patterns. Fire after the blowdown caused substantial additional reduction in ecosystem carbon stocks, suggesting that potential increases in multiple disturbance events may represent a challenge for sustaining ecosystem carbon stocks. Salvage logging, as examined here, decreased carbon stored in snags and down woody material but had no significant effect on total ecosystem carbon stocks.

  7. Quantitative analysis of forest fire extinction efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel E. Castillo-Soto

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study: Evaluate the economic extinction efficiency of forest fires, based on the study of fire combat undertaken by aerial and terrestrial means. Area of study, materials and methods: Approximately 112,000 hectares in Chile. Records of 5,876 forest fires that occurred between 1998 and 2009 were analyzed. The area further provides a validation sector for results, by incorporating databases for the years 2010 and 2012. The criteria used for measuring extinction efficiency were economic value of forestry resources, Contraction Factor analysis and definition of the extinction costs function. Main results: It is possible to establish a relationship between burnt area, extinction costs and economic losses. The method proposed may be used and adapted to other fire situations, requiring unit costs for aerial and terrestrial operations, economic value of the property to be protected and speed attributes of fire spread in free advance. Research highlights: The determination of extinction efficiency in containment works of forest fires and potential projection of losses, different types of plant fuel and local conditions favoring the spread of fire broaden the admissible ranges of a, φ and Ce considerably.

  8. Short- and long-term effects of fire on carbon in US dry temperate forest systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurteau, Matthew D.; Brooks, Matthew L.

    2011-01-01

    Forests sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and in so doing can mitigate the effects of climate change. Fire is a natural disturbance process in many forest systems that releases carbon back to the atmosphere. In dry temperate forests, fires historically burned with greater frequency and lower severity than they do today. Frequent fires consumed fuels on the forest floor and maintained open stand structures. Fire suppression has resulted in increased understory fuel loads and tree density; a change in structure that has caused a shift from low- to high-severity fires. More severe fires, resulting in greater tree mortality, have caused a decrease in forest carbon stability. Fire management actions can mitigate the risk of high-severity fires, but these actions often require a trade-off between maximizing carbon stocks and carbon stability. We discuss the effects of fire on forest carbon stocks and recommend that managing forests on the basis of their specific ecologies should be the foremost goal, with carbon sequestration being an ancillary benefit. ?? 2011 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved.

  9. Effects of Repeated Fires in the Forest Ecosystems of the Zabaikalye Region, Southern Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kukavskaya, E.; Buryak, L. V.; Conard, S. G.; Petkov, A.; Barrett, K.; Kalenskaya, O. P.; Ivanova, G.

    2014-12-01

    Fire is the main ecological disturbance controlling forest development in the boreal forests of Siberia and contributing substantially to the global carbon cycle. The warmer and dryer climate observed recently in the boreal forests is considered to be responsible for extreme fire weather, resulting in higher fire frequency, larger areas burned, and an increase of fire severity. Because of the increase of fire activity, boreal forests in some regions may not be able to reach maturity before they re-burn, which means less carbon will be stored in the ecosystem and more will remain in the atmosphere. Moreover, if one fire occurs within a few years of another, some stands will not re-grow at all, and even more carbon will accumulate in the atmosphere. Zabaikalye region located in the south of Siberia is characterized by the highest fire activity in Russia. With a use of the satellite-based fire product we found that there are about 7.0 million hectares in the region burned repeatedly during the last decade. We have investigated a number of sites in-situ in light-coniferous (Scots pine and larch) forests and evaluated the impacts of repeated fires on fuel loads, carbon emissions, and tree regeneration. Substantial decrease of carbon stocks, change of the vegetation structure and composition, and soil erosion were observed in many areas disturbed by repeated fires. At drier sites located in the southern regions repeated fires prohibited successful regeneration and resulted in forest conversion to grassland. Detection and monitoring of changes in the areas of Siberia where repeated fires have caused a major shift in ecosystem structure and function is required for the development of sustainable forest management strategies to mitigate climate change. The research was supported by NASA LCLUC Program.

  10. Spatial distribution of forest fires and controlling factors in Andhra Pradesh, India using SPOT satellite datasets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vadrevu, Krishna P; Eaturu, Anuradha; Badarinath, K V S

    2006-12-01

    Fires are one of the major causes of forest disturbance and destruction in several dry deciduous forests of southern India. In this study, we use remote sensing data sets in conjunction with topographic, vegetation, climate and socioeconomic factors for determining the potential causes of forest fires in Andhra Pradesh, India. Spatial patterns in fire characteristics were analyzed using SPOT satellite remote sensing datasets. We then used nineteen different metrics in concurrence with fire count datasets in a robust statistical framework to arrive at a predictive model that best explained the variation in fire counts across diverse geographical and climatic gradients. Results suggested that, of all the states in India, fires in Andhra Pradesh constituted nearly 13.53% of total fires. District wise estimates of fire counts for Andhra Pradesh suggested that, Adilabad, Cuddapah, Kurnool, Prakasham and Mehbubnagar had relatively highest number of fires compared to others. Results from statistical analysis suggested that of the nineteen parameters, population density, demand of metabolic energy (DME), compound topographic index, slope, aspect, average temperature of the warmest quarter (ATWQ) along with literacy rate explained 61.1% of total variation in fire datasets. Among these, DME and literacy rate were found to be negative predictors of forest fires. In overall, this study represents the first statewide effort that evaluated the causative factors of fire at district level using biophysical and socioeconomic datasets. Results from this study identify important biophysical and socioeconomic factors for assessing 'forest fire danger' in the study area. Our results also identify potential 'hotspots' of fire risk, where fire protection measures can be taken in advance. Further this study also demonstrate the usefulness of best-subset regression approach integrated with GIS, as an effective method to assess 'where and when' forest fires will most likely occur.

  11. Forest-fire behavior studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.R. Curry; W.L. Fons

    1940-01-01

    General principles of forest management were established over 200 years ago in Central Europe and the task of the American forester has been largely to adapt these principles to the management of the vast, rough, and inaccessible natural forests of this country. A series of essentially new problems has arisen, however. In the humid climate where forestry originated,...

  12. Real time forest fire warning and forest fire risk zoning: a Vietnamese case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, T.; Pham, D.; Phung, T.; Ha, A.; Paschke, M.

    2016-12-01

    Forest fire occurs seriously in Vietnam and has been considered as one of the major causes of forest lost and degradation. Several studies of forest fire risk warning were conducted using Modified Nesterov Index (MNI) but remaining shortcomings and inaccurate predictions that needs to be urgently improved. In our study, several important topographic and social factors such as aspect, slope, elevation, distance to residential areas and road system were considered as "permanent" factors while meteorological data were updated hourly using near-real-time (NRT) remotely sensed data (i.e. MODIS Terra/Aqua and TRMM) for the prediction and warning of fire. Due to the limited number of weather stations in Vietnam, data from all active stations (i.e. 178) were used with the satellite data to calibrate and upscale meteorological variables. These data with finer resolution were then used to generate MNI. The only significant "permanent" factors were selected as input variables based on the correlation coefficients that computed from multi-variable regression among true fire-burning (collected from 1/2007) and its spatial characteristics. These coefficients also used to suggest appropriate weight for computing forest fire risk (FR) model. Forest fire risk model was calculated from the MNI and the selected factors using fuzzy regression models (FRMs) and GIS based multi-criteria analysis. By this approach, the FR was slightly modified from MNI by the integrated use of various factors in our fire warning and prediction model. Multifactor-based maps of forest fire risk zone were generated from classifying FR into three potential danger levels. Fire risk maps were displayed using webgis technology that is easy for managing data and extracting reports. Reported fire-burnings thereafter have been used as true values for validating the forest fire risk. Fire probability has strong relationship with potential danger levels (varied from 5.3% to 53.8%) indicating that the higher

  13. Simulating Fire Disturbance and Plant Mortality Using Antecedent Eco-hydrological Conditions to Inform a Physically Based Combustion Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atchley, A. L.; Linn, R.; Middleton, R. S.; Runde, I.; Coon, E.; Michaletz, S. T.

    2016-12-01

    Wildfire is a complex agent of change that both affects and depends on eco-hydrological systems, thereby constituting a tightly linked system of disturbances and eco-hydrological conditions. For example, structure, build-up, and moisture content of fuel are dependent on eco-hydrological regimes, which impacts fire spread and intensity. Fire behavior, on the other hand, determines the severity and extent of eco-hydrological disturbance, often resulting in a mosaic of untouched, stressed, damaged, or completely destroyed vegetation within the fire perimeter. This in turn drives new eco-hydrological system behavior. The cycles of disturbance and recovery present a complex evolving system with many unknowns especially in the face of climate change that has implications for fire risk, water supply, and forest composition. Physically-based numerical experiments that attempt to capture the complex linkages between eco-hydrological regimes that affect fire behavior and the echo-hydrological response from those fire disturbances help build the understanding required to project how fire disturbance and eco-hydrological conditions coevolve over time. Here we explore the use of FIRETEC—a physically-based 3D combustion model that solves conservation of mass, momentum, energy, and chemical species—to resolve fire spread over complex terrain and fuel structures. Uniquely, we couple a physically-based plant mortality model with FIRETEC and examine the resultant hydrologic impact. In this proof of concept demonstration we spatially distribute fuel structure and moisture content based on the eco-hydrological condition to use as input for FIRETEC. The fire behavior simulation then produces localized burn severity and heat injures which are used as input to a spatially-informed plant mortality model. Ultimately we demonstrate the applicability of physically-based models to explore integrated disturbance and eco-hydrologic response to wildfire behavior and specifically map how fire

  14. Software fires detection and extinction for forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Carlos García Seco

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available This article shows the most usual fire detection and forest extinction application technologies at present. We will see all different methods used by these applications that can be found in the Market and some examples. Also, some basic questions about the most influent parameters when a fire must be extinct are shown. Finally, after having shown all the technologies, we will build a model about an intelligent system which not only detects, but also extinguish wildfires.

  15. Computer simulation of forest fire and its possible usage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halada, L.; Weisenpacher, P.; Glasa, J.

    2005-01-01

    In this presentation authors deal with computer modelling of forest fires. Their possible usage is discussed. Results of modelling are compared with real forest fire in the National Park Slovensky Raj (Slovak Paradise) in 2000 year

  16. RLC Forest Fire Locations in Eastern Russia, 1998-1999

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This dataset is derived from Russian forest fire imagery from the National Forest Fire Center of Russia archive that was collected by the Center of Remote Sensing,...

  17. Forest fires prevention and limitation of the greenhouse effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The contribution of forest fires to the carbon budget and greenhouse effect is examined at global and national (Italian scale and forest management options directed to preventing fires are briefly outlined.

  18. Environmental Influences on Forest Fire Regime in the Greater Hinggan Mountains, Northeast China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Fan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Fires are the major disturbances in the Greater Hinggan Mountains, the only boreal forest in Northeast China. A comprehensive understanding of the fire regimes and influencing environmental parameters driving them from small to large fires is critical for effective forest fire prevention and management. Assisted with satellite imagery, topographic data, and climatic records in this region, this study examines its fire regimes in terms of ignition causes, frequencies, seasonality, and burned sizes in the period of 1980–2005. We found an upward trend for fire occurrences and burned areas and an elongated fire season over the three decades. The dates of the first fire in a year did not vary largely but those of the last fire were significantly delayed. Topographically, spring fires were prevalent throughout the entire region, while summer fires mainly occurred at higher elevations under severe drought conditions. Fall fires were mostly human-caused in areas at lower elevations with gentle terrains. An ordinal logistic regression revealed temperature and elevation were both significant factors to the fire size severity in spring and summer. Other than that, environmental impacts were different. Precipitation in the preceding year greatly influenced spring fires, while summer fires were significantly affected by wind speed, fuel moisture, and human accessibility. An important message from this study is that distinct seasonal variability and a significantly increasing number of summer and fall fires since the mid-1990s suggest a changing fire regime of the boreal forests in the study area. The observed and modeled results could provide insights on establishing a sustainable, localized forest fire prevention strategy in a seasonal manner.

  19. Forest Fires in Russia and Northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    Smoke plumes from forest fires scattered along the border between the Russian Far East and northern China are clearly visible in this true-color image from the Sea-viewing Wide-Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) on June 16, 2000. Fires in Siberia occur every summer, and severe outbreaks occur every ten years or so, with the most recent in 1998. The fires are ignited by lightning, and are so remote that it is impossible to fight them effectively. Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

  20. Catastrophic fires in Russian forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. I. Sukhinin; D. J. McRae; B. J. Stocks; S. G. Conard; WeiMin Hao; A. J. Soja; D. Cahoon

    2010-01-01

    We evaluated the contribution of catastrophic fires to the total burned area and the amount of tree mortality in Russia since the 1970’s. Such fires occurred in the central regions of European Russia (1972, 1976, 1989, 2002, 2010), Khabarovsk krai (1976, 1988, 1998), Amur region (1997-2002), Republics of Yakutia and Tuva (2002), Magadan and Kamchatka oblast (1984, 2001...

  1. Assessment of forest fire impacts and emissions in the European Union based on the European forest fire information system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulo Barbosa; Andrea Camia; Jan Kucera; Giorgio Libertá; Ilaria Palumbo; Jesus San-Miguel-Ayanz; Guido Schmuck

    2009-01-01

    An analysis on the number of forest fires and burned area distribution as retrieved by the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) database is presented. On average, from 2000 to 2005 about...

  2. Carbon and water fluxes from ponderosa pine forests disturbed by wildfire and thinning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dore, S; Kolb, T E; Montes-Helu, M; Eckert, S E; Sullivan, B W; Hungate, B A; Kaye, J P; Hart, S C; Koch, G W; Finkral, A

    2010-04-01

    Disturbances alter ecosystem carbon dynamics, often by reducing carbon uptake and stocks. We compared the impact of two types of disturbances that represent the most likely future conditions of currently dense ponderosa pine forests of the southwestern United States: (1) high-intensity fire and (2) thinning, designed to reduce fire intensity. High-severity fire had a larger impact on ecosystem carbon uptake and storage than thinning. Total ecosystem carbon was 42% lower at the intensely burned site, 10 years after burning, than at the undisturbed site. Eddy covariance measurements over two years showed that the burned site was a net annual source of carbon to the atmosphere whereas the undisturbed site was a sink. Net primary production (NPP), evapotranspiration (ET), and water use efficiency were lower at the burned site than at the undisturbed site. In contrast, thinning decreased total ecosystem carbon by 18%, and changed the site from a carbon sink to a source in the first posttreatment year. Thinning also decreased ET, reduced the limitation of drought on carbon uptake during summer, and did not change water use efficiency. Both disturbances reduced ecosystem carbon uptake by decreasing gross primary production (55% by burning, 30% by thinning) more than total ecosystem respiration (TER; 33-47% by burning, 18% by thinning), and increased the contribution of soil carbon dioxide efflux to TER. The relationship between TER and temperature was not affected by either disturbance. Efforts to accurately estimate regional carbon budgets should consider impacts on carbon dynamics of both large disturbances, such as high-intensity fire, and the partial disturbance of thinning that is often used to prevent intense burning. Our results show that thinned forests of ponderosa pine in the southwestern United States are a desirable alternative to intensively burned forests to maintain carbon stocks and primary production.

  3. Emissions from forest fires near Mexico City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. J. Yokelson

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available The emissions of NOx (defined as NO (nitric oxide + NO2 (nitrogen dioxide and hydrogen cyanide (HCN, per unit amount of fuel burned, from fires in the pine forests that dominate the mountains surrounding Mexico City (MC are about 2 times higher than normally observed for forest burning. The ammonia (NH3 emissions are about average for forest burning. The upper limit for the mass ratio of NOx to volatile organic compounds (VOC for these MC-area mountain fires was ~0.38, which is similar to the NOx/VOC ratio in the MC urban area emissions inventory of 0.34, but much larger than the NOx/VOC ratio for tropical forest fires in Brazil (~0.068. The nitrogen enrichment in the fire emissions may be due to deposition of nitrogen-containing pollutants in the outflow from the MC urban area. This effect may occur worldwide wherever biomass burning coexists with large urban areas (e.g. the tropics, southeastern US, Los Angeles Basin. The molar emission ratio of HCN to carbon monoxide (CO for the mountain fires was 0.012±0.007, which is 2–9 times higher than widely used literature values for biomass burning. The ambient molar ratio HCN/CO in the MC-area outflow is about 0.003±0.0003. Thus, if only mountain fires emit significant amounts of HCN, these fires may be contributing about 25% of the CO production in the MC-area (~98–100 W and 19–20 N. Comparing the PM10/CO and PM2.5/CO mass ratios in the MC Metropolitan Area emission inventory (0.0115 and 0.0037 to the PM1/CO mass ratio for the mountain fires (0.133 then suggests that these fires could produce as much as ~79–92% of the primary fine particle mass generated in the MC-area. Considering both the uncertainty in the HCN/CO ratios and secondary aerosol formation in the urban and fire emissions implies that about 50±30% of the "aged" fine particle mass in the March 2006 MC-area outflow could be from these fires.

  4. Soil organic matter composition and quality across fire severity gradients in coniferous and deciduous forests of the southern boreal region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessica R. Miesel; William C. Hockaday; Randy Kolka; Philip A. Townsend

    2015-01-01

    Recent patterns of prolonged regional drought in southern boreal forests of the Great Lakes region, USA, suggest that the ecological effects of disturbance by wildfire may become increasingly severe. Losses of forest soil organic matter (SOM) during fire can limit soil nutrient availability and forest regeneration. These processes are also influenced by the composition...

  5. Natural forest succession and fire history

    Science.gov (United States)

    G. E. Gruell; W. C. Schmidt; S. F. Arno; W. J. Reich

    1999-01-01

    “Succession” is the term applied to a change or sequence of vegetation on a given site through time following disturbance. For example, a succession of plant communities that follows clearcutting with broadcast burning of slash might be (1) grass-forb, (2) shrubfield, (3) saplings and shrubs, (4) pole-size trees, (5) mature forest, and (6) old-growth forest. Succession...

  6. Changing disturbance regimes, ecological memory, and forest resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnstone, Jill F.; Allen, Craig D.; Franklin, Jerry F.; Frelich, Lee E.; Harvey, Brian J.; Higuera, Philip E.; Mack, Michelle C.; Meentemeyer, Ross K.; Metz, Margaret R.; Perry, George LW; Schoennagel, Tania; Turner, Monica G.

    2016-01-01

    Ecological memory is central to how ecosystems respond to disturbance and is maintained by two types of legacies – information and material. Species life-history traits represent an adaptive response to disturbance and are an information legacy; in contrast, the abiotic and biotic structures (such as seeds or nutrients) produced by single disturbance events are material legacies. Disturbance characteristics that support or maintain these legacies enhance ecological resilience and maintain a “safe operating space” for ecosystem recovery. However, legacies can be lost or diminished as disturbance regimes and environmental conditions change, generating a “resilience debt” that manifests only after the system is disturbed. Strong effects of ecological memory on post-disturbance dynamics imply that contingencies (effects that cannot be predicted with certainty) of individual disturbances, interactions among disturbances, and climate variability combine to affect ecosystem resilience. We illustrate these concepts and introduce a novel ecosystem resilience framework with examples of forest disturbances, primarily from North America. Identifying legacies that support resilience in a particular ecosystem can help scientists and resource managers anticipate when disturbances may trigger abrupt shifts in forest ecosystems, and when forests are likely to be resilient.

  7. Villaflores: Municipal forest fire management model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedro Martínez Muñoz; Carlos Alberto Velázquez Sanabria

    2013-01-01

    As provided for in the General Law on Sustainable Forestry Development, the Municipality of Villaflores has worked on a continuous basis since 2002 to reduce the damage caused by forest fires as part of its working agenda, in conjunction with Federal and State agencies and NGOs. The work plan has the following phases: a) Inter-agency coordination:...

  8. Water quality impacts of forest fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tecle Aregai; Daniel Neary

    2015-01-01

    Forest fires have been serious menace, many times resulting in tremendous economic, cultural and ecological damage to many parts of the United States. One particular area that has been significantly affected is the water quality of streams and lakes in the water thirsty southwestern United States. This is because the surface water coming off burned areas has resulted...

  9. The Frequency and Fate of Understory Forest Fires in Amazonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, D. C.; le page, Y.; Wang, D.; Chen, Y.; Randerson, J. T.; Collatz, G. J.; Giglio, L.; Hurtt, G. C.; DeFries, R. S.

    2012-12-01

    Fires for deforestation or agricultural management frequently escape their intended boundaries and burn standing Amazon forests. The extent and frequency of understory forest fires are critical to assess forest carbon emissions and the long-term legacy of understory fires in Amazonia. Patterns of understory fire activity under current climate conditions also offer a blueprint for potential changes in Amazon forests under scenarios of future climate and land use. Here, we estimated of the extent and frequency of understory forest fires for the entire arc of deforestation in southern Amazonia using a time series of annual Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. Understory forest fires burned more than 80,000 km2 during 1999-2010. Fires were widespread along the southern and eastern extents of Amazon forests during the four years with highest fire activity (1999, 2005, 2007, 2010). The interannual variability in understory fires offered new insights into fire-climate dynamics in Amazonia over a range of temporal scales, based on the combination of burned area, MODIS active fire detections, and reanalysis climate data. Initial fire exposure reduces aboveground carbon stocks, and frequent fires are one possible mechanism for long-term changes the structure of Amazon forests. Repeated burning was concentrated in southeastern Amazonia, and >95% of all repeated fires occurred in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Pará. Forests that burned two or more times during this period accounted for 16% of understory fire activity. Finally, deforestation of burned forests was rare, suggesting that forest degradation from understory fires was an independent source of carbon emissions during this period. Modeling the time scales of carbon loss and recovery in burned forests is therefore critical to estimate the net carbon emissions from these fires. The results of this study suggest that understory fires operate as a large-scale edge effect in Amazonia, as

  10. Relative impact of previous disturbance history on the likelihood of additional disturbance in the Northern United States Forest Service USFS Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez, A. J.

    2015-12-01

    The Landsat archive is increasingly being used to detect trends in the occurrence of forest disturbance. Beyond information about the amount of area affected, forest managers need to know if and how disturbance regimes change. The National Forest System (NFS) has developed a comprehensive plan for carbon monitoring that requires a detailed temporal mapping of forest disturbances across 75 million hectares. A long-term annual time series that shows the timing, extent, and type of disturbance beginning in 1990 and ending in 2011 has been prepared for several USFS Regions, including the Northern Region. Our mapping starts with an automated detection of annual disturbances using a time series of historical Landsat imagery. Automated detections are meticulously inspected, corrected and labeled using various USFS ancillary datasets. The resulting maps of verified disturbance show the timing and types are fires, harvests, insect activity, disease, and abiotic (wind, drought, avalanche) damage. Also, the magnitude of each change event is modeled in terms of the proportion of canopy cover lost. The sequence of disturbances for every pixel since 1990 has been consistently mapped and is available across the entirety of NFS. Our datasets contain sufficient information to describe the frequency of stand replacement, as well as how often disturbance results in only a partial loss of canopy. This information provides empirical insight into how an initial disturbance may predispose a stand to further disturbance, and it also show a climatic signal in the occurrence of processes such as fire and insect epidemics. Thus, we have the information to model the likelihood of occurrence of certain disturbances after a given event (i.e. if we have a fire in the past what does that do to the likelihood of occurrence of insects in the future). Here, we explore if previous disturbance history is a reliable predictor of additional disturbance in the future and we present results of applying

  11. Long-term disturbance dynamics and resilience of tropical peat swamp forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Lydia E S; Bhagwat, Shonil A; Willis, Katherine J

    2015-01-01

    1. The coastal peat swamp forests of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, are undergoing rapid conversion, predominantly into oil palm plantations. This wetland ecosystem is assumed to have experienced insignificant disturbance in the past, persisting under a single ecologically-stable regime. However, there is limited knowledge of the past disturbance regime, long-term functioning and fundamentally the resilience of this ecosystem to changing natural and anthropogenic perturbations through time. 2. In this study, long-term ecological data sets from three degraded peatlands in Sarawak were collected to shed light on peat swamp forest dynamics. Fossil pollen and charcoal were counted in each sedimentary sequence to reconstruct vegetation and investigate responses to past environmental disturbance, both natural and anthropogenic. 3. Results demonstrate that peat swamp forest taxa have dominated these vegetation profiles throughout the last c . 2000-year period despite the presence of various drivers of disturbance. Evidence for episodes of climatic variability, predominantly linked to ENSO events, and wildfires is present throughout. However, in the last c . 500 years, burning and indicators of human disturbance have elevated beyond past levels at these sites, concurrent with a reduction in peat swamp forest pollen. 4. Two key insights have been gained through this palaeoecological analysis: (i) peat swamp forest vegetation has demonstrated resilience to disturbance caused by burning and climatic variability in Sarawak in the late Holocene, however (ii) coincident with increased fire combined with human impact c . 500 years ago, these communities started to decline. 5. Synthesis . Sarawak's coastal peat swamps have demonstrated resilience to past natural disturbances, with forest vegetation persisting through episodes of fire and climatic variability. However, palaeoecological data presented here suggest that recent, anthropogenic disturbances are of a greater magnitude

  12. Accounting for Impacts of Natural Disturbances on Climate Change Mitigation Projects in Tropical Forests (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birdsey, R.; Dai, Z.; Hernandez, J.; Johnson, K. D.; Vargas, R.

    2013-12-01

    Most forests in the world are recovering from natural or human-induced disturbances -- the fraction of the world's forests disturbed each year by fire and insects alone is conservatively estimated by FAO to be 2.6%. Natural disturbances are common in many tropical forest areas and have significant impacts on carbon stocks. For example, emissions from wildfires in tropical forests are estimated to exceed 700 TgC yr-1 annually, with significant interannual variability related to global weather cycles. Several lines of evidence point toward long-term climate-induced increases in natural disturbances, with the potential for changing the world's terrestrial ecosystems from a sink to a source of CO2. This raises the important question of whether forests can be an effective part of a climate change mitigation strategy and concurrently, how to account for the effects of disturbances separately from the effects of changes in land use or forest management. Although global and regional studies have made some good progress to quantify the impacts of natural disturbances, it remains a technical challenge to separate or 'factor out' the impacts of natural disturbances from other causes of changes in carbon stocks, such as vegetation regrowth and CO2 fertilization, when developing the accounting and monitoring systems required to support climate change mitigation projects. We tested one approach in the semi-deciduous dry forests of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico using the ecosystem process model DNDC. Spatial variability in simulated C stocks reflects variations in stand age, vegetation type, soil characteristics and disturbance. Disturbances that occurred between 1985 and 2010 led to a mean decrease in C stocks of 3.2 Mg C ha-1 in 2012 not including forestland lost to crops and urban land uses. Other approaches may be possible for factoring out specific causes of changes in carbon stocks, but the IPCC has twice determined that none of the currently available alternatives is

  13. Quantifying the effect of fire disturbance on free-living nitrogen fixation in tropical ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Oliveira Bomfim, B.; Silva, L. C. R.; Marimon-Junior, B. H.; Marimon, B.; Horwath, W. R.; Neves, L.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical forests and savannas are among the most important biomes on Earth, supporting more than half of all plant and animal species on the planet. Despite growing interest in biogeochemical processes that affect tropical forest dynamics, many, including biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), are still poorly understood. Free-living N-fixers are thought to play a key role in tropical ecosystems, alleviating N and P limitation, supporting above and below ground biomass production, as well as carbon storage in plants and soil, but this influence has yet to be quantified. Of particular interest, the spatial distribution and identity of free-living BNF under disturbance regimes that commonly lead to the conversion of forests to savannas is currently unknown. To address this critical gap in knowledge, we measured free-living BNF quantifying rates of N fixation under contrasting fire regimes in the Amazon-Cerrado transition of central Brazil. Samples were collected in 4 ha of floodable forests affected by fire and 1 ha of unburned (seasonally flooded) forest located at the Araguaia State Park, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. Free-living N-fixation rates were measured by both 15N2 (98 atom% 15N) and acethylene reduction assay (ARA). Samples were incubated in the field and left in the dark at room temperature for 12 hours. In the next few weeks we will quantify N fixation rates that will be presented in the upcoming AGU meeting.

  14. A walk on the wild side: Disturbance dynamics and the conservation and management of European mountain forest ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulakowski, Dominik; Seidl, Rupert; Holeksa, Jan; Kuuluvainen, Timo; Nagel, Thomas A; Panayotov, Momchil; Svoboda, Miroslav; Thorn, Simon; Vacchiano, Giorgio; Whitlock, Cathy; Wohlgemuth, Thomas; Bebi, Peter

    2017-03-15

    Mountain forests are among the most important ecosystems in Europe as they support numerous ecological, hydrological, climatic, social, and economic functions. They are unique relatively natural ecosystems consisting of long-lived species in an otherwise densely populated human landscape. Despite this, centuries of intensive forest management in many of these forests have eclipsed evidence of natural processes, especially the role of disturbances in long-term forest dynamics. Recent trends of land abandonment and establishment of protected forests have coincided with a growing interest in managing forests in more natural states. At the same time, the importance of past disturbances highlighted in an emerging body of literature, and recent increasing disturbances due to climate change are challenging long-held views of dynamics in these ecosystems. Here, we synthesize aspects of this Special Issue on the ecology of mountain forest ecosystems in Europe in the context of broader discussions in the field, to present a new perspective on these ecosystems and their natural disturbance regimes. Most mountain forests in Europe, for which long-term data are available, show a strong and long-term effect of not only human land use but also of natural disturbances that vary by orders of magnitude in size and frequency. Although these disturbances may kill many trees, the forests themselves have not been threatened. The relative importance of natural disturbances, land use, and climate change for ecosystem dynamics varies across space and time. Across the continent, changing climate and land use are altering forest cover, forest structure, tree demography, and natural disturbances, including fires, insect outbreaks, avalanches, and wind disturbances. Projected continued increases in forest area and biomass along with continued warming are likely to further promote forest disturbances. Episodic disturbances may foster ecosystem adaptation to the effects of ongoing and future

  15. Disturbance size and severity covary in small and mid-size wind disturbances in Pennsylvania northern hardwoods forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris J. Peterson; Lisa M. Krueger; Alejandro A. Royo; Scott Stark; Walter P. Carson

    2013-01-01

    Do large disturbances differ from small ones in characteristics other than size? The importance of disturbances in forest dynamics is unquestioned, and the size of the disturbed area (size of gap) is the most common way of differentiating disturbances. But few studies have examined other disturbance characteristics to see if small and large disturbances are different....

  16. Effects of tropical montane forest disturbance on epiphytic macrolichens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benitez, Angel [Instituto de Ecologia, Herbario HUTPL, Universidad Tecnica Particular de Loja, San Cayetano s/n, Loja (Ecuador); Prieto, Maria, E-mail: maria.prieto@urjc.es [Area de Biodiversidad y Conservacion, ESCET, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Mostoles, E-28933, Madrid (Spain); Gonzalez, Yadira [Instituto de Ecologia, Herbario HUTPL, Universidad Tecnica Particular de Loja, San Cayetano s/n, Loja (Ecuador); Aragon, Gregorio [Area de Biodiversidad y Conservacion, ESCET, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Mostoles, E-28933, Madrid (Spain)

    2012-12-15

    The high diversity of epiphytes typical of undisturbed montane tropical forests has been negatively affected by continuous deforestation and forest conversion to secondary vegetation. Macrolichens are an important component of these epiphytes. Because their physiology is strongly coupled to humidity and solar radiation, we hypothesized that microclimatic changes derived from forest clearing and logging can affect the diversity of these poikilohydric organisms. In southern Ecuador, we examined three types of forests according to a disturbance gradient (primary forests, secondary forests, and monospecific forests of Alnus acuminata) for the presence/absence and coverage of epiphytic macrolichens that we identified on 240 trees. We found that total richness tended to decrease when the range of the disturbance increased. The impoverishment was particularly drastic for 'shade-adapted lichens', while the richness of 'heliophytic lichens' increased in the drier conditions of secondary growth. Epiphytic composition also differed significantly among the three types of forests, and the similarity decreased when the range of the disturbance was greater. We concluded that a span of 40 years of recovery by secondary vegetation was not enough to regenerate the diversity of epiphytic macrolichens that was lost due to forest disturbances. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Tropical montane forest disturbance drastically reduced macrolichen diversity. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Species loss was most severe for the 'shade-adapted lichens' because high radiation is harmful to them. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer In secondary forests lichen diversity of native forests was not regenerated. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The protection of remnants of primary tropical forest might help to preserve a diverse community of epiphytic macrolichens.

  17. Carbon emissions associated with forest fires in Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alencar, A.; Nepstad, D.; Moutinho, P. [Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazonia, Belem, Para (Brazil)

    2005-07-01

    Forest fires or 'understory fires' that burn beneath forest canopies are one of the most important types of forest impoverishment in the Amazon causing large emissions of carbon to the atmosphere. The occurrence and the damage intensity of these fire events are related to the synergetic influence of selective logging, forest fragmentation and severe droughts especially such as that associated with El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) episodes. In addition, forest fires occurrence also depends on landscape variables and forest structure. In this chapter we review the feedbacks that increase the susceptibility of the forest to understory fires, evaluate the impact of the fire events on forest biomass, analyze the spatial relationship of these forest fires with landscape characteristics for different regions along the arc of deforestation and estimate the area affected by forest fires in El Nino and non El Nino years. The results indicate that the area of forest burned by understory forest fire during the severe drought (ENSO) year (approximately 43.9 millions of hectares) was 13 times greater than the area burned during the average rainfall year (0.2 million hectares), and twice the area of annual deforestation. Our estimate of aboveground forest carbon that will eventually be released to the atmosphere through decomposition of dead trees due to understory fires in the Amazon arc of deforestation ranged from 0.024 to 0.165 Pg during the ENSO and from 0.001 to 0.011 Pg during the non ENSO years.

  18. Carbon Cycling, Climate Regulation, and Disturbances in Canadian Forests: Scientific Principles for Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Sébastien Landry

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Canadian forests are often perceived as pristine and among the last remaining wilderness, but the majority of them are officially managed and undergo direct land use, mostly for wood harvest. This land use has modified their functions and properties, often inadvertently (e.g., age structure but sometimes purposefully (e.g., fire suppression. Based on a review of the literature pertaining to carbon cycling, climate regulation, and disturbances from logging, fire, and insect outbreaks, we propose five scientific principles relevant for Canadian managed forests. Among these, a principle we wish to highlight is the need to properly account for the management-related fossil fuel emissions, because they will affect the global carbon cycle and climate for millennia unless massive atmospheric carbon dioxide removal becomes a reality. We also use these five principles to address questions of current interest to research scientists, forest managers, and policy makers. Our review focusses on total ecosystem carbon storage and various mechanisms through which forests affect climate, in particular albedo and aerosols forcings—including how disturbances influence all these elements—but also touches on other ecosystem goods and services. Our review underscores the importance of conducting >100-year time horizon studies of carbon cycling, climate regulation, and disturbances in Canadian managed forests.

  19. Forest age structure as indicator of boreal forest sustainability under alternative management and fire regimes: a landscape level sensitivity analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Didion, M.P.; Fortin, M.J.; Fall, A.

    2007-01-01

    Effective forest ecosystem-based management requires a thorough understanding of the interactions between anthropogenic and natural disturbance processes over larger spatial and temporal scales than stands and rotation ages. Because harvesting does not preclude fire, it is important to evaluate the

  20. Modeling impacts of fire severity on successional trajectories and future fire behavior in Alaskan boreal forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jill F. Johnstone; T. Scott Rupp; Mark Olson; David. Verbyla

    2011-01-01

    Much of the boreal forest in western North America and Alaska experiences frequent, stand-replacing wildfires. Secondary succession after fire initiates most forest stands and variations in fire characteristics can have strong effects on pathways of succession. Variations in surface fire severity that influence whether regenerating forests are dominated by coniferous...

  1. Modern fire regime resembles historical fire regime in a ponderosa pine forest on Native American land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amanda B. Stan; Peter Z. Fule; Kathryn B. Ireland; Jamie S. Sanderlin

    2014-01-01

    Forests on tribal lands in the western United States have seen the return of low-intensity surface fires for several decades longer than forests on non-tribal lands. We examined the surface fire regime in a ponderosa pinedominated (Pinus ponderosa) forest on the Hualapai tribal lands in the south-western United States. Using fire-scarred trees, we inferred temporal (...

  2. Fire Regime along Latitudinal Gradients of Continuous to Discontinuous Coniferous Boreal Forests in Eastern Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeanne Portier

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Fire is the main disturbance in North American coniferous boreal forests. In Northern Quebec, Canada, where forest management is not allowed, the landscape is gradually constituted of more opened lichen woodlands. Those forests are discontinuous and show a low regeneration potential resulting from the cumulative effects of harsh climatic conditions and very short fire intervals. In a climate change context, and because the forest industry is interested in opening new territories to forest management in the north, it is crucial to better understand how and why fire risk varies from the north to the south at the transition between the discontinuous and continuous boreal forest. We used time-since-fire (TSF data from fire archives as well as a broad field campaign in Quebec’s coniferous boreal forests along four north-south transects in order to reconstruct the fire history of the past 150 to 300 years. We performed survival analyses in each transect in order to (1 determine if climate influences the fire risk along the latitudinal gradient; (2 fractionate the transects into different fire risk zones; and (3 quantify the fire cycle—defined as the time required to burn an area equivalent to the size of the study area—of each zone and compare its estimated value with current fire activity. Results suggest that drought conditions are moderately to highly responsible for the increasing fire risk from south to north in the three westernmost transects. No climate influence was observed in the last one, possibly because of its complex physical environment. Fire cycles are shortening from south to north, and from east to west. Limits between high and low fire risk zones are consistent with the limit between discontinuous and continuous forests, established based on recent fire activity. Compared to the last 40 years, fire cycles of the last 150–300 years are shorter. Our results suggest that as drought episodes are expected to become more frequent

  3. Where are the forests in the United States "not disturbed" over a quarter century?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, C.; Zhao, F. A.; Goward, S. N.; Schleeweis, K.; Michaelis, A.; Masek, J. G.; Dungan, J. L.; Cohen, W. B.; Moisen, G.; Rishmawi, K.

    2015-12-01

    Forests provide many important ecosystem services. Logging, fire, and other disturbances can disrupt or even diminish the provision of these services. Although many map products and inventory data can be used to estimate the total forested area in the United States, it is not clear how much of the country's forest remained undisturbed in recent decades. Through the North American Forest Dynamics (NAFD) study, we have mapped both disturbed and undisturbed forests over the conterminous United States (CONUS) using sub-annual time series of Landsat observations. The results revealed that 33.6% of the land area of CONUS had forest cover during some or all of the years between 1986 and 2010. About two thirds of the nation's forests remained undisturbed during the 25-year period. Most of these undisturbed forests were distributed in western and northern parts of the eastern US. The percentage of undisturbed forest in the southeastern states were lower, about 50% or less. In these states, much of the undisturbed forest was distributed along riparian zones or in protected areas, including national parks and national forests. In the northeastern and western US, riparian zones did not have a significantly higher proportion of undisturbed forests than non-riparian areas. While most protected areas had a high percentage of undisturbed forests, some of them had lower percentages than the average values of their surrounding regions. Topography may also have played a role in keeping forests "undisturbed". Many ecoregions in the western and northern US had a substantially higher percentage of undisturbed forests at high elevations than at low elevations.

  4. Key landscape and biotic indicators of watersheds sensitivity to forest disturbance identified using remote sensing and historical hydrography data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buma, Brian; Livneh, Ben

    2017-07-01

    Water is one of the most critical resources derived from natural systems. While it has long been recognized that forest disturbances like fire influence watershed streamflow characteristics, individual studies have reported conflicting results with some showing streamflow increases post-disturbance and others decreases, while other watersheds are insensitive to even large disturbance events. Characterizing the differences between sensitive (e.g. where streamflow does change post-disturbance) and insensitive watersheds is crucial to anticipating response to future disturbance events. Here, we report on an analysis of a national-scale, gaged watershed database together with high-resolution forest mortality imagery. A simple watershed response model was developed based on the runoff ratio for watersheds (n = 73) prior to a major disturbance, detrended for variation in precipitation inputs. Post-disturbance deviations from the expected water yield and streamflow timing from expected (based on observed precipitation) were then analyzed relative to the abiotic and biotic characteristics of the individual watershed and observed extent of forest mortality. The extent of the disturbance was significantly related to change in post-disturbance water yield (p water yield. Highly disturbed, arid watersheds with low soil: water contact time are the most likely to see increases, with the magnitude positively correlated with the extent of disturbance. Watersheds dominated by deciduous forest with low bulk density soils typically show reduced yield post-disturbance. Post-disturbance streamflow timing change was associated with climate, forest type, and soil. Snowy coniferous watersheds were generally insensitive to disturbance, whereas finely textured soils with rapid runoff were sensitive. This is the first national scale investigation of streamflow post-disturbance using fused gage and remotely sensed data at high resolution, and gives important insights that can be used to

  5. Disturbance and productivity interactions mediate stability of forest composition and structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher D. O' Connor; Donald A. Falk; Ann M. Lynch; Thomas W. Swetnam; Craig P. Wilcox

    2017-01-01

    Fire is returning to many conifer-dominated forests where species composition and structure have been altered by fire exclusion. Ecological effects of these fires are influenced strongly by the degree of forest change during the fire-free period. Response of fire-adapted species assemblages to extended fire-free intervals is highly variable, even in communities with...

  6. Dry forests of the Northeastern Cascades Fire and Fire Surrogate project site, Mission Creek, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    James K. Agee; John F. (comps.) Lehmkuhl

    2009-01-01

    The Fire and Fire Surrogate (FFS) project is a large long-term metastudy established to assess the effectiveness and ecological impacts of burning and fire "surrogates" such as cuttings and mechanical fuel treatments that are used instead of fire, or in combination with fire, to restore dry forests. One of the 13 national FFS sites is the Northeastern...

  7. Effects of forest fires in southern and central of Zabaykal region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. V. Buryak

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The fire frequency situation in Zabaykal region from 1964 to 2015 is evaluated and discussed in the paper. The main reasons of decadal increase of fire numbers and the area burned are revealed. The main reasons of high fire frequency and the increase of fire activity in the last decades are shown. The characteristics of the weather conditions in the years of high fire frequency are presented. Fire activity was found to increase not only because of the droughts in the last decades but also due to forest disturbances in Zabaykalsky Krai by illegal logging. Based on the data from 170 sample sites laid out with the use of satellite images, forest inventory data and results of ground sample transects, the impact of the wildfires of different type, form and severity on tree mortality in the light-coniferous forests was estimated, as well as the amount of tree regeneration in the forest areas disturbed by fires, logged sites (both burned and unburned, and sites burned repeatedly was evaluated. Wildfires in the Zabaykal region were found to be strong ecological factor influencing on the probability of existence of many forest ecosystems. In case of further climate warming and repeated fires, the part of the forests may transform to the non forest areas. The steppification of the burned sites in the southern forest-steppe regions and in the low parts of the southern slopes at the border with steppe landscapes as well as desertification in the central parts of the region and swamping of burned sites located in the wet soils are observed. Wind and water soil erosion happens at the large burned sites.

  8. Spatial Configuration of Drought Disturbance and Forest Gap Creation across Environmental Gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew, Margaret E; Ruthrof, Katinka X; Matusick, George; Hardy, Giles E St J

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is increasing the risk of drought to forested ecosystems. Although drought impacts are often anecdotally noted to occur in discrete patches of high canopy mortality, the landscape effects of drought disturbances have received virtually no study. This study characterized the landscape configuration of drought impact patches and investigated the relationships between patch characteristics, as indicators of drought impact intensity, and environmental gradients related to water availability to determine factors influencing drought vulnerability. Drought impact patches were delineated from aerial surveys following an extreme drought in 2011 in southwestern Australia, which led to patchy canopy dieback of the Northern Jarrah Forest, a Mediterranean forest ecosystem. On average, forest gaps produced by drought-induced dieback were moderate in size (6.6 ± 9.7 ha, max = 85.7 ha), compact in shape, and relatively isolated from each other at the scale of several kilometers. However, there was considerable spatial variation in the size, shape, and clustering of forest gaps. Drought impact patches were larger and more densely clustered in xeric areas, with significant relationships observed with topographic wetness index, meteorological variables, and stand height. Drought impact patch clustering was more strongly associated with the environmental factors assessed (R2 = 0.32) than was patch size (R2 = 0.21); variation in patch shape remained largely unexplained (R2 = 0.02). There is evidence that the xeric areas with more intense drought impacts are 'chronic disturbance patches' susceptible to recurrent drought disturbance. The spatial configuration of drought disturbances is likely to influence ecological processes including forest recovery and interacting disturbances such as fire. Regime shifts to an alternate, non-forested ecosystem may occur preferentially in areas with large or clustered drought impact patches. Improved understanding of drought impacts and

  9. The efficacy of salvage logging in reducing subsequent fire severity in conifer-dominated forests of Minnesota, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraver, S.; Jain, T.; Bradford, J.B.; D'Amato, A.W.; Kastendick, D.; Palik, B.; Shinneman, D.; Stanovick, J.

    2011-01-01

    Although primarily used to mitigate economic losses following disturbance, salvage logging has also been justified on the basis of reducing fire risk and fire severity; however, its ability to achieve these secondary objectives remains unclear. The patchiness resulting from a sequence of recent disturbances-blowdown, salvage logging, and ildfire- provided an excellent opportunity to assess the impacts of blowdown and salvage logging on wildfire severity. We used two fire-severity assessments (tree-crown and forest-floor characteristics) to compare post-wildfire conditions among three treatment combinations (Blowdown-Salvage-Fire, Blowdown-Fire, and Fire only). Our results suggest that salvage logging reduced the intensity (heat released) of the subsequent fire. However, its effect on severity (impact to the system) differed between the tree crowns and forest floor: tree-crown indices suggest that salvage logging decreased fire severity (albeit with modest statistical support), while forest-floor indices suggest that salvage logging increased fire severity. We attribute the latter finding to the greater exposure of mineral soil caused by logging operations; once exposed, soils are more likely to register the damaging effects of fire, even if fire intensity is not extreme. These results highlight the important distinction between fire intensity and severity when formulating post-disturbance management prescriptions. ?? 2011 by the Ecological Society of America.

  10. A 15-year post evaluation of the fire effects on ant community in an area of Amazonian forest

    OpenAIRE

    Santos, Jean C.; Delabie, Jacques H. C.; Fernandes, G. Wilson

    2008-01-01

    Fire represents an important disturbance to ant communities in areas of fire regime. Otherwise, little is known about the effects of fire on ant communities in areas of non-fire regimes, such as in the Amazonian region. We evaluated the long-term effect of fire on ant species richness in a rain forest (Bacaba Plateau) burned 15-years ago and compare our data with the data of primary unburned forest. A total of 85 ant species distributed in 21 genera and 14 tribes were collected; among them, 7...

  11. Forest fire occurrence prediction in Slovenia using GIS technology

    OpenAIRE

    Šturm, Tomaž

    2013-01-01

    The thesis discusses forest fire occurrence in the Karst forest management region in the period from 1995 to 2009. Data analysis has shown that fire occurrence has two season peaks which are highly associated with human activities in the natural environment (land cultivation, railway). Therefore fire mostly starts in unwooded areas, from where the wind spreads it into the woods. Most frequently it occurs in deciduous forests, and the largest burnt areas occur in coniferous forests. The kernel...

  12. From dust to dose: Effects of forest disturbance on increased inhalation exposure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whicker, Jeffrey J.; Pinder, John E.; Breshears, David D.; Eberhart, Craig F.

    2006-01-01

    Ecosystem disturbances that remove vegetation and disturb surface soils are major causes of excessive soil erosion and can result in accelerated transport of soils contaminated with hazardous materials. Accelerated wind erosion in disturbed lands that are contaminated is of particular concern because of potential increased inhalation exposure, yet measurements regarding these relationships are lacking. The importance of this was highlighted when, in May of 2000, the Cerro Grande fire burned over roughly 30% of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), mostly in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest, and through areas with soils containing contaminants, particularly excess depleted and natural uranium. Additionally, post-fire thinning was performed in burned and unburned forests on about 25% of LANL land. The first goal of this study was to assess the potential for increased inhalation dose from uranium contaminated soils via wind-driven resuspension of soil following the Cerro Grande Fire and subsequent forest thinning. This was done through analysis of post-disturbance measurements of uranium air concentrations and their relationships with wind velocity and seasonal vegetation cover. We found a 14% average increase in uranium air concentrations at LANL perimeter locations after the fire, and the greatest air concentrations occurred during the months of April-June when wind velocities are highest, no snow cover, and low vegetation cover. The second goal was to develop a methodology to assess the relative contribution of each disturbance type towards increasing public and worker exposure to these resuspended soils. Measurements of wind-driven dust flux in severely burned, moderately burned, thinned, and unburned/unthinned forest areas were used to assess horizontal dust flux (HDF) in these areas. Using empirically derived relationships between measurements of HDF and respirible dust, coupled with onsite uranium soil concentrations, we estimate relative increases in

  13. Using landscape disturbance and succession models to support forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric J. Gustafson; Brian R. Sturtevant; Anatoly S. Shvidenko; Robert M. Scheller

    2010-01-01

    Managers of forested landscapes must account for multiple, interacting ecological processes operating at broad spatial and temporal scales. These interactions can be of such complexity that predictions of future forest ecosystem states are beyond the analytical capability of the human mind. Landscape disturbance and succession models (LDSM) are predictive and...

  14. Rill erosion in natural and disturbed forests: 1. Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    P. R. Robichaud; J. W. Wagenbrenner; R. E. Brown

    2010-01-01

    Rill erosion can be a large portion of the total erosion in disturbed forests, but measurements of the runoff and erosion at the rill scale are uncommon. Simulated rill erosion experiments were conducted in two forested areas in the northwestern United States on slopes ranging from 18 to 79%. We compared runoff rates, runoff velocities, and sediment flux rates from...

  15. Modeling the effects of environmental disturbance on wildlife communities: Avian responses to prescribed fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, R.E.; Royle, J. Andrew; Saab, V.A.; Lehmkuhl, J.F.; Block, W.M.; Sauer, J.R.

    2009-01-01

    Prescribed fire is a management tool used to reduce fuel loads on public lands in forested areas in the western United States. Identifying the impacts of prescribed fire on bird communities in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests is necessary for providing land management agencies with information regarding the effects of fuel reduction on sensitive, threatened, and migratory bird species. Recent developments in occupancy modeling have established a framework for quantifying the impacts of management practices on wildlife community dynamics. We describe a Bayesian hierarchical model of multi-species occupancy accounting for detection probability, and we demonstrate the model's usefulness for identifying effects of habitat disturbances on wildlife communities. Advantages to using the model include the ability to estimate the effects of environmental impacts on rare or elusive species, the intuitive nature of the modeling, the incorporation of detection probability, the estimation of parameter uncertainty, the flexibility of the model to suit a variety of experimental designs, and the composite estimate of the response that applies to the collection of observed species as opposed to merely a small subset of common species. Our modeling of the impacts of prescribed fire on avian communities in a ponderosa pine forest in Washington indicate that prescribed fire treatments result in increased occupancy rates for several bark-insectivore, cavity-nesting species including a management species of interest, Black-backed Woodpeckers (Picoides arcticus). Three aerial insectivore species, and the ground insectivore, American Robin (Turdus migratorius), also responded positively to prescribed fire, whereas three foliage insectivores and two seed specialists, Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) and the Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus), declined following treatments. Land management agencies interested in determining the effects of habitat manipulations on wildlife

  16. Modeling the effects of environmental disturbance on wildlife communities: avian responses to prescribed fire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Robin E; Royle, J Andrew; Saab, Victoria A; Lehmkuhl, John F; Block, William M; Sauer, John R

    2009-07-01

    Prescribed fire is a management tool used to reduce fuel loads on public lands in forested areas in the western United States. Identifying the impacts of prescribed fire on bird communities in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests is necessary for providing land management agencies with information regarding the effects of fuel reduction on sensitive, threatened, and migratory bird species. Recent developments in occupancy modeling have established a framework for quantifying the impacts of management practices on wildlife community dynamics. We describe a Bayesian hierarchical model of multi-species occupancy accounting for detection probability, and we demonstrate the model's usefulness for identifying effects of habitat disturbances on wildlife communities. Advantages to using the model include the ability to estimate the effects of environmental impacts on rare or elusive species, the intuitive nature of the modeling, the incorporation of detection probability, the estimation of parameter uncertainty, the flexibility of the model to suit a variety of experimental designs, and the composite estimate of the response that applies to the collection of observed species as opposed to merely a small subset of common species. Our modeling of the impacts of prescribed fire on avian communities in a ponderosa pine forest in Washington indicate that prescribed fire treatments result in increased occupancy rates for several bark-insectivore, cavity-nesting species including a management species of interest, Black-backed Woodpeckers (Picoides arcticus). Three aerial insectivore species, and the ground insectivore, American Robin (Turdus migratorius), also responded positively to prescribed fire, whereas three foliage insectivores and two seed specialists, Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) and the Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus), declined following treatments. Land management agencies interested in determining the effects of habitat manipulations on wildlife

  17. Simulating the Effects of Fire on Forests in the Russian Far East: Integrating a Fire Danger Model and the FAREAST Forest Growth Model Across a Complex Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, N. J.; Loboda, T.; Sun, G.; Shugart, H. H.; Csiszar, I.

    2008-12-01

    The remaining natural habitat of the critically endangered Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) and Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is a vast, biologically and topographically diverse area in the Russian Far East (RFE). Although wildland fire is a natural component of ecosystem functioning in the RFE, severe or repeated fires frequently re-set the process of forest succession, which may take centuries to return the affected forests to the pre-fire state and thus significantly alters habitat quality and long-term availability. The frequency of severe fire events has increased over the last 25 years, leading to irreversible modifications of some parts of the species' habitats. Moreover, fire regimes are expected to continue to change toward more frequent and severe events under the influence of climate change. Here we present an approach to developing capabilities for a comprehensive assessment of potential Amur tiger and leopard habitat availability throughout the 21st century by integrating regionally parameterized fire danger and forest growth models. The FAREAST model is an individual, gap-based model that simulates forest growth in a single location and demonstrates temporally explicit forest succession leading to mature forests. Including spatially explicit information on probabilities of fire occurrence at 1 km resolution developed from the regionally specific remotely -sensed data-driven fire danger model improves our ability to provide realistic long-term projections of potential forest composition in the RFE. This work presents the first attempt to merge the FAREAST model with a fire disturbance model, to validate its outputs across a large region, and to compare it to remotely-sensed data products as well as in situ assessments of forest structure. We ran the FAREAST model at 1,000 randomly selected points within forested areas in the RFE. At each point, the model was calibrated for temperature, precipitation, slope, elevation, and fire

  18. Size and frequency of natural forest disturbances and the Amazon forest carbon balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    F.D.B. Espirito-Santo; M. Gloor; M. Keller; Y. Malhi; S. Saatchi; B. Nelson; R.C. Oliveira Junior; C. Pereira; J. Lloyd; S. Frolking; M. Palace; Y.E. Shimabukuro; V. Duarte; A. Monteagudo Mendoza; G. Lopez-Gonzalez; T.R. Baker; T.R. Feldpausch; R.J.W. Brienen; G.P. Asner; D.S. Boyd; O.L. Phillips

    2014-01-01

    Forest inventory studies in the Amazon indicate a large terrestrial carbon sink. However, field plots may fail to represent forest mortality processes at landscape-scales of tropical forests. Here we characterize the frequency distribution of disturbance events in natural forests from 0.01 ha to 2,651 ha size throughout Amazonia using a novel...

  19. Landscape-scale forest disturbance regimes in southern Peruvian Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Doreen S; Hill, Ross A; Hopkinson, Chris; Baker, Timothy R

    2013-10-01

    Landscape-scale gap-size frequency distributions in tropical forests are a poorly studied but key ecological variable. Currently, a scale gap currently exists between local-scale field-based studies and those employing regional-scale medium-resolution satellite data. Data at landscape scales but of fine resolution would, however, facilitate investigation into a range of ecological questions relating to gap dynamics. These include whether canopy disturbances captured in permanent sample plots (PSPs) are representative of those in their surrounding landscape, and whether disturbance regimes vary with forest type. Here, therefore, we employ airborne LiDAR data captured over 142.5 km2 of mature, swamp, and regenerating forests in southeast Peru to assess the landscape-scale disturbance at a sampling resolution of up to 2 m. We find that this landscape is characterized by large numbers of small gaps; large disturbance events are insignificant and infrequent. Of the total number of gaps that are 2 m2 or larger in area, just 0.45% were larger than 100 m2, with a power-law exponent (alpha) value of the gap-size frequency distribution of 2.22. However, differences in disturbance regimes are seen among different forest types, with a significant difference in the alpha value of the gap-size frequency distribution observed for the swamp/regenerating forests compared with the mature forests at higher elevations. Although a relatively small area of the total forest of this region was investigated here, this study presents an unprecedented assessment of this landscape with respect to its gap dynamics. This is particularly pertinent given the range of forest types present in the landscape and the differences observed. The coupling of detailed insights into forest properties and growth provided by PSPs with the broader statistics of disturbance events using remote sensing is recommended as a strong basis for scaling-up estimates of landscape and regional-scale carbon balance.

  20. Effects of ground fires on element dynamics in mountainous coniferous forest in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin Näthe

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Disturbances such as fires are a natural phenomenon of forested ecosystems, having a different impact on (micro- climate (e.g. emissions of gases and aerosols, ecology (destruction of flora and fauna and nutrient cycles especially in the soils. Forest fires alter the spatial distribution (forest floor vs. mineral soil, binding forms (organic vs. inorganic and availability (water solubility of organic substances and nutrients. The effects of fires on chemical, biological and physical soil properties in forested ecosystems have been intensively studied in the last decades, especially in the Mediterranean area and North America. However, differences in fire intensity, forest type (species, age and location (climate, geological substrate, nutrient status lead to divergent results. Furthermore, only a few case studies focused on the effects of ground fires in hilly landscapes, on the vertical and lateral water-driven fluxes of elements (C, N, nutrients, as well as on the input of fire-released terrestrial nutrients into aquatic ecosystems. Thus, this study will evaluate the effects of low-severity fires on nutrient cycling in a coniferous forest in a hilly landscape connected to an aquatic system. At three spatially independent sites three paired plots (control and manipulated were chosen at a forested site in Thuringia, Germany. All plots are similar in the vegetation cover and pedogenetic properties.In relation to control sites, this study will examine the effects of low-severity fires on:a the mobilization of organic carbon and nutrients (released from ash material and the forest floor via leachate and erosion paths,b the binding form (inorganic/organic of elements and organic compounds, and c the particle size fraction (DOM/POM of elements and organic compounds.The goal of this study is a better understanding of the impact of forest fires on element cycling and release in a hilly landscape connected to an aquatic system, supposedly driven by

  1. Influence of Anthropogenic Disturbances on Stand Structural Complexity in Andean Temperate Forests: Implications for Managing Key Habitat for Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Forest attributes and their abundances define the stand structural complexity available as habitat for faunal biodiversity; however, intensive anthropogenic disturbances have the potential to degrade and simplify forest stands. In this paper we develop an index of stand structural complexity and show how anthropogenic disturbances, namely fire, logging, livestock, and their combined presence, affect stand structural complexity in a southern Global Biodiversity Hotspot. From 2011 to 2013, we measured forest structural attributes as well as the presence of anthropogenic disturbances in 505 plots in the Andean zone of the La Araucanía Region, Chile. In each plot, understory density, coarse woody debris, number of snags, tree diameter at breast height, and litter depth were measured, along with signs of the presence of anthropogenic disturbances. Ninety-five percent of the plots showed signs of anthropogenic disturbance (N = 475), with the combined presence of fire, logging, and livestock being the most common disturbance (N = 222; 44% of plots). The lowest values for the index were measured in plots combining fire, logging, and livestock. Undisturbed plots and plots with the presence of relatively old fires (> 70 years) showed the highest values for the index of stand structural complexity. Our results suggest that secondary forests forests should be managed to retain structural attributes, including understory density (7.2 ± 2.5 # contacts), volume of CWD (22.4 ± 25.8 m3/ha), snag density (94.4 ± 71.0 stems/ha), stand basal area (61.2 ± 31.4 m2/ha), and litter depth (7.5 ± 2.7 cm). Achieving these values will increase forest structural complexity, likely benefiting a range of faunal species in South American temperate forests. PMID:28068349

  2. Trajectories of Disturbance in Island SE Asia: A Hypothesis of Anthropogenic Forest Management and Food Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, C. O.

    2014-12-01

    This paper synthesises evidence from Late Quaternary pollen diagrams from across Island SE Asia to show that what appears to be anthopogenic forest modification started more than 50,000 years ago. Initially disturbance of forests was by fire, during interstadials when successional processes would otherwise have led to closed canopy forest. It is hypothesised that the resultant habitats would have provided accessible broad-spectrum resources to mobile foraging populations. During the Holocene, there is some evidence for the early interchange and propagation of economically-important plants, notably between New Guinea and Borneo. I use GIS to chart patterns of floral disturbance through the Holocene, most probably linked to diverse land management and food production strategies. We need a new wave of pollen and charcoal-based studies plus plant macrofossil work on many archaeological sites across the region to test and substantiate this hypothesis.

  3. Time fluctuation analysis of forest fire sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega Orozco, Carmen D.; Kanevski, Mikhaïl; Tonini, Marj; Golay, Jean; Pereira, Mário J. G.

    2013-04-01

    Forest fires are complex events involving both space and time fluctuations. Understanding of their dynamics and pattern distribution is of great importance in order to improve the resource allocation and support fire management actions at local and global levels. This study aims at characterizing the temporal fluctuations of forest fire sequences observed in Portugal, which is the country that holds the largest wildfire land dataset in Europe. This research applies several exploratory data analysis measures to 302,000 forest fires occurred from 1980 to 2007. The applied clustering measures are: Morisita clustering index, fractal and multifractal dimensions (box-counting), Ripley's K-function, Allan Factor, and variography. These algorithms enable a global time structural analysis describing the degree of clustering of a point pattern and defining whether the observed events occur randomly, in clusters or in a regular pattern. The considered methods are of general importance and can be used for other spatio-temporal events (i.e. crime, epidemiology, biodiversity, geomarketing, etc.). An important contribution of this research deals with the analysis and estimation of local measures of clustering that helps understanding their temporal structure. Each measure is described and executed for the raw data (forest fires geo-database) and results are compared to reference patterns generated under the null hypothesis of randomness (Poisson processes) embedded in the same time period of the raw data. This comparison enables estimating the degree of the deviation of the real data from a Poisson process. Generalizations to functional measures of these clustering methods, taking into account the phenomena, were also applied and adapted to detect time dependences in a measured variable (i.e. burned area). The time clustering of the raw data is compared several times with the Poisson processes at different thresholds of the measured function. Then, the clustering measure value

  4. Using weather forecasts for predicting forest-fire danger

    Science.gov (United States)

    H. T. Gisborne

    1925-01-01

    Three kinds of weather control the fluctuations of forest-fire danger-wet weather, dry weather, and windy weather. Two other conditions also contribute to the fluctuation of fire danger. These are the occurrence of lightning and the activities of man. But neither of these fire-starting agencies is fully effective unless the weather has dried out the forest materials so...

  5. Forest fires and air quality issues in southern Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ana Isabel Miranda; Enrico Marchi; Marco Ferretti; Millán M. Millán

    2009-01-01

    Each summer forest fires in southern Europe emit large quantities of pollutants to the atmosphere. These fires can generate a number of air pollution episodes as measured by air quality monitoring networks. We analyzed the impact of forest fires on air quality of specific regions of southern Europe. Data from several summer seasons were studied with the aim of...

  6. Global warming and the forest fire business in Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stocks, B.J.

    1991-01-01

    The current forest fire situation in Canada is outlined, and an attempt is made to predict the impact of global warming on the forest fire business in Canada. Despite the development of extremely sophisticated provincial and territorial fire management systems, forest fires continue to exert a tremendous influence on the Canadian forest resource. Research into the relationship between climate warming and forest fires has fallen into two categories: the effect of future global warming on fire weather severity, and the current contribution of forest fires to global atmospheric greenhouse gas budgets. A 46% increase in seasonal fire severity across Canada is suggested under a doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration scenario. Approximately 89% of carbon released to the atmosphere by forest fire burning is in the form of carbon dioxide, 9% is carbon monoxide, and the remaining carbon is released as methane or non-methane hydrocarbons. It is estimated that forest fires in northern circumpolar countries contribute from 1-2% of the carbon released globally through biomass burning. Fire may be the agent by which a northerly shift of forest vegetation in Canada occurs. 13 refs., 2 figs

  7. Contribution of Near Real Time MODIS-Based Forest Disturbance Detection Products to a National Forest Threat Early Warning System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spruce, J.; Hargrove, W. W.; Gasser, J.; Smoot, J.; Kuper, P.

    2011-12-01

    This presentation discusses an effort to compute and post weekly MODIS forest change products for the conterminous US (CONUS), as part of a web-based national forest threat early warning system (EWS) known as the U.S. Forest Change Assessment Viewer (FCAV). The US Forest Service, NASA, USGS, and ORNL are working collaboratively to contribute weekly change products to this EWS. Large acreages of the nation's forests are being disturbed by a growing multitude of biotic and abiotic threats that can act either singularly or in combination. When common at regional scales, such disturbances can pose hazards and threats to floral and faunal bio-diversity, ecosystem sustainability, ecosystem services, and human settlements across the conterminous US. Regionally evident forest disturbances range from ephemeral periodic canopy defoliation to stand replacement mortality events due to insects, disease, fire, hurricanes, tornadoes, ice, hail, and drought. Mandated by the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003, this forest threat EWS has been actively developed since 2006 and on-line since 2010. The FCAV system employs 250-meter MODIS NDVI-based forest change products as a key element of the system, providing regional and CONUS scale products in near real time every 8 days. Each of our forest change products in FCAV is based on current versus historical 24 day composites of NDVI data gridded at 231.66 meter resolution. Current NDVI is derived from USGS eMODIS expedited products. MOD13 NDVI is used for constructing historical baselines. CONUS change products are computed for all forests as % change in the current versus historical NDVI for a given 24 day period. Change products are computed according to previous year, previous 3 year and previous 8 year historical baselines. The use of multiple baselines enables apparent forest disturbance anomalies to be more fully assessed. CONUS forest change products are posted each week on the FCAV, a web mapping service constructed and

  8. Bark Beetles as Significant Forest Disturbances: Estimating Susceptibility Based On Stand Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicke, J. A.; Jenkins, J. C.

    2007-12-01

    In the western United States, bark beetle outbreaks affect millions of hectares of forests. These disturbances have multiple effects on ecosystems, including modifications to biogeochemical cycles, interactions with fire, and changes in land cover type and species composition. In recent years, extensive outbreaks have occurred in multiple forest ecosystems in the West, thought to be caused by climate variability and stand structure. In this study, we focus on epidemics of mountain pine beetle. We used USDA Forest Service inventories and a model to estimate lodgepole pine susceptibility to mountain pine beetle attack in the West. The model considers stand age, stem density, and percentage of large lodgepole pine to estimate stand susceptibility. Over 150,000 trees in 4454 plots across the western United States were used to compute susceptibility at the plot scale as well as map susceptibility at the county scale. We found that regional susceptibility was high (estimated potential of losses of 34% of stand basal area) for 2.8 Mha, or 46%, of lodgepole pine forests. The highest susceptibility occurred in the Rocky Mountains, with lower susceptibility in coastal states. This study reveals that a substantial fraction of lodgepole pine forest could be subjected to bark beetle outbreaks under current climate conditions. Because climate and weather affect beetle populations, projected future warming will influence outbreak regimes. Thus, forest ecosystems in the West may experience more frequent, extensive, and/or severe disturbances than in recent decades due to current stand structure, and these disturbances may be intensified under climate change.

  9. Forest disturbance and North American carbon flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    S. N. Goward; J. G. Masek; W. Cohen; G. Moisen; G. J. Collatz; S. Healey; R. A. Houghton; C. Huang; R. Kennedy; B. Law; S. Powell; D. Turner; M. A. Wulder

    2008-01-01

    North America's forests are thought to be a significant sink for atmospheric carbon. Currently, the rate of sequestration by forests on the continent has been estimated at 0.23 petagrams of carbon per year, though the uncertainty about this estimate is nearly 50%. This offsets about 13% of the fossil fuel emissions from the continent [Pacala et al., 2007]. However...

  10. Forest fuel treatments in western North America: merging silvicultural and fire management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris C. Johnson; David L. Peterson

    2005-01-01

    For many years silviculture and fire management have mostly been separate forestry disciplines with disparate objectives and activities. However, in order to accomplish complex and multiple management objectives related to forest structure, fuels, and fxe disturbance, these two disciplines must be effectively integrated in science and practice. We have linked...

  11. Surface cooling due to forest fire smoke

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robock, Alan

    1991-11-01

    In four different cases of extensive forest fire smoke the surface temperature effects were determined under the smoke cloud. In all cases, daytime cooling and no nighttime effects were found. The locations of smoke clouds from extensive forest fires in western Canada in 1981 and 1982, in northern China and Siberia in 1987, and in Yellowstone National Park in northwestern Wyoming in 1988 were determined from satellite imagery. As these smoke clouds passed over the midwestern United States for the Canadian and Yellow-stone fires and over Alaska for the Chinese/Siberian fires, surface air temperature effects were determined by comparing actual surface air temperatures with those forecast by model output statistics (MOS) of the United States National Weather Service. MOS error fields corresponding to the smoke cloud locations showed day-time cooling of 1.5° to 7°C under the smoke but no nighttime effects. These results correspond to theoretical estimates of the effects of smoke, and they serve as observational confirmation of a portion of the nuclear winter theory. This also implies that smoke from biomass burning can have a daytime cooling effect of a few degrees over seasonal time scales. In order to properly simulate the present climate with a numerical climate model in regions of regular burning it may be necessary to include this smoke effect.

  12. Decreases in net primary production and net ecosystem production along a repeated-fires induced forest/grassland gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, C. H.; Huang, Y. H.; Chung-Yu, L.; Menyailo, O.

    2016-12-01

    Fire is one of the most important disturbances in ecosystems. Fire rapidly releases stored carbon into atmosphere and also plays critical roles on soil properties, light and moisture regimes, and plant structures and communities. With the interventions of climate change and human activities, fire regimes become more severe and frequent. In many parts of world, forest fire regimes can be further altered by grass invasion because the invasive grasses create a positive feedback cycle through their rapid recovery after fires and their high flammability during dry periods and allow forests to be burned repeatedly in a relatively short time. For such invasive grass-fire cycle, a great change of native vegetation community can occur. In this study, we examined a C4 invasive grass () fire-induced forest/grassland gradient to quantify the changes of net primary production (NPP) and net ecosystem production (NEP) from an unburned forest to repeated fire grassland. Our results demonstrated negative effects of repeated fires on NPP and NEP. Within 4 years of the onset of repeated fires on the unburned forest, NPP declined by 14%, mainly due to the reduction in aboveground NPP but offset by increase of belowground NPP. Subsequent fires cumulatively caused reductions in both aboveground and belowground NPP. A total of 40% reduction in the long-term repeated fire induced grassland was found. Soil respiration rate were not significantly different along the forest/grassland gradient. Thus, a great reduction in NEP were shown in grassland, which shifted from 4.6 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 in unburnt forest to -2.6 Mg C ha-1 yr-1. Such great losses are critical within the context of forest carbon cycling and long-term sustainability. Forest management practices that can effectively reduce the likelihood of repeated fires and consequent likelihood of establishment of the grass fire cycle are essential for protecting the forest.

  13. Bark Beetle Outbreaks Increase Fire Probability in Western United States Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisrat, S. A.; White, M. A.

    2006-12-01

    Many of the direct influences of disturbances such as fire or insects on ecosystem function are well known. In contrast, the interactions among disturbances are less well understood. In the forests of the western United States, the interaction between bark beetle outbreaks and subsequent fires is a pressing management concern for a diverse political, economic, and ecological community but the disturbance interaction is generally unknown. For example, although conventional wisdom holds that bark beetle outbreaks will increase fire risk, limited field studies suggest the opposite may be true. To our knowledge, no study has attempted to study bark beetle - fire interactions over the entire western United States. Here, using five years (2000-2004) of manually collected aerial detection survey (ADS) polygons depicting the extent of bark beetle outbreaks and five years (2001-2005) of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 1km fire images (MOD14), we calculated the influence of bark beetle outbreaks on one-year-lagged subsequent fire occurrence across the entire western United States. We converted the ADS polygons to raster format and co-registered all imagery to the Albers Equal Area projection. We then calculated the conditional probability of fire given bark beetle presence P(fire|bark beetles presence) and the conditional probability of fire given bark beetle absence P(fire|bark beetle absence). The presence of bark beetles increased the probability of one-year-lagged subsequent fire occurrence by 17% to 115% with an average value of 65%, strongly suggesting that bark beetle outbreaks in one year will increase the risk of fire in the next year. Key words: bark beetles, fire, disturbance interaction, conditional probability

  14. Distribution and demographics of Ailanthus altissima in an oak forest landscape managed with timber harvesting and prescribed fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joanne Rebbeck; Todd Hutchinson; Louis Iverson; Daniel Yaussy; Timothy Fox

    2017-01-01

    Ailanthus altissima ((Mill.) Swingle, tree-of-heaven), an exotic invasive tree that is common throughout much of the eastern United States, can invade and expand dramatically when forests are disturbed. Anecdotal evidence suggests that fire facilitates its spread, but the relationship between fire and this prolific invasive tree is poorly...

  15. Contribution of Near Real Time MODIS-Based Forest Disturbance Detection Products to a National Forest Threat Early Warning System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spruce, Joseph P.; Hargrove, William; Glasser, Jerry; Kuper, Philip D.

    2011-01-01

    This presentation discusses an effort to compute and post weekly MODIS forest change products for the conterminous US (CONUS), as part of national forest threat early warning system (EWS) known as the U.S. Forest Change Assessment Viewer (FCAV). The US Forest Service, NASA, USGS, and ORNL are working collaboratively to contribute weekly change products to this EWS. Large acreages of the nation's forests are being disturbed by a growing multitude of biotic and abiotic threats that can act either singularly or in combination. When common at regional scales, such disturbances can pose hazards and threats to floral and faunal bio-diversity, ecosystem sustainability, ecosystem services, and human settlements across the conterminous US. Regionally evident forest disturbances range from ephemeral periodic canopy defoliation to stand replacement mortality events due to insects, disease, fire, hurricanes, tornadoes, ice, hail, and drought. Mandated by the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003, this forest threat EWS has been actively developed since 2006 and on-line since 2010. This FCAV system employs 250-meter MODIS NDVI-based forest change products as a key element of the system, providing regional and CONUS scale products in near real time every 8 days. Each forest change product in FCAV is based on current versus historical 24 day composite NDVI data gridded at 231.66 meter resolution. Current NDVI is derived from USGS eMODIS expedited products. MOD13 NDVI is used for constructing historical baselines. CONUS change products are computed for all forests as % change in the current versus historical NDVI. Change products are computed according to previous year, previous 3 years and previous 8 year historical baselines. The use of multiple baselines enables disturbance anomaly phenology to be more fully assessed. CONUS forest change products are posted each week on the FCAV, a web mapping service maintained by the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center. The

  16. Global change induced biomass growth offsets carbon released via increased forest fire and respiration of the central Canadian boreal forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonsamo, Alemu; Chen, Jing M.; Colombo, Stephen J.; Ter-Mikaelian, Michael T.; Chen, Jiaxin

    2017-05-01

    Northern boreal forests are sensitive to many effects of global change. This is of particular concern due to the proportionally greater climate change projected for the area in which these forests occur. One of the sensitive areas is the Far North of Ontario (FNO), consisting of one of the world's largest remaining tracts of unmanaged boreal forest, the world's third largest area of wetland, and the most southerly area of tundra. We studied past, present, and potential future carbon (C) balance of FNO forests using the Integrated Terrestrial Ecosystem Carbon Model and the Canadian Regional Climate Model with stand-replacing fire disturbance. The forced simulations of past (1901-2004) C balances indicated that vegetation C stock remained stable, while soil C stock gradually declined (-0.07 t C ha-1 yr-1, p climate growth-enhancing effects of global change will outweigh C loss through increased ecosystem respiration, disturbance, and changes in forest age class structure resulting in an increase in total FNO ecosystem C stock by mid-21st century. However, the projected simulations also indicated that the relative sizes of forest C stocks will change, with relatively less in the soil and more in vegetation, increasing fuel loads and making the entire ecosystem susceptible to forest fire and insect disturbances.

  17. Responses of temperate forest productivity to insect and pathogen disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flower, C. E.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    Climate forcing factors have been documented to directly (e.g. CO2 fertilization) or indirectly (e.g. temperature and vapor pressure deficit) affect net primary productivity (NPP) of forests. Climate variations can also affect the vulnerability of forests to pests and pathogens, causing diffuse or widespread mortality. The introduction of novel pests is causing rapid mortality of targeted species with undetermined effects on forest productivity: NPP could decrease or increase depending on the severity (proportion of basal area impacted) and species diversity. We attempted to document the impact of diffuse mortality caused by insect outbreaks on North American temperate forests through synthesis of literature. Despite the large number of studies (>500) only a few (12) documented NPP in a systematic manner. The magnitude of insect and pathogen disturbance was larger in western than eastern forests due to the redundancy and functional diversity of temperate deciduous and mixed deciduous forests. Recovery from disturbance was more rapid from diffuse short duration defoliation events relative to the long lasting impacts of wood boring insects. Forest resilience may decrease as insect disturbance increases, particularly with generalist invasive pests that target a variety of species. We conclude that these biotic interactions, particularly when caused by invasive pests, impose biological forcing to forest NPP at similar magnitude and time scales than climate forcing.

  18. Fire in Eastern Hardwood Forests through 14,000 Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin A. Spetich; Roger W. Perry; Craig A. Harper; Stacy L. Clark

    2011-01-01

    Fire helped shape the structure and species composition of hardwood forests of the eastern United States over the past 14,000 years. Periodic fires were common in much of this area prior to European settlement, and fire-resilient species proliferated. Early European settlers commonly adopted Native American techniques of applying fire to the landscape. As the demand...

  19. Disturbance alters local-regional richness relationships in appalachian forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belote, R.T.; Sanders, N.J.; Jones, R.H.

    2009-01-01

    Whether biological diversity within communities is limited by local interactions or regional species pools remains an important question in ecology. In this paper, we investigate how an experimentally applied tree-harvesting disturbance gradient influenced local-regional richness relationships. Plant species richness was measured at three spatial scales (2 ha = regional; 576 m2 and 1 m2 = local) on three occasions (one year pre-disturbance, one year post-disturbance, and 10 years post-disturbance) across five disturbance treatments (uncut control through clearcut) replicated throughout the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA. We investigated whether species richness in 576-m2 plots and 1-m2 subplots depended on species richness in 2-ha experimental units and whether this relationship changed through time before and after canopy disturbance. We found that, before disturbance, the relationship between local and regional richness was weak or nonexistent. One year after disturbance local richness was a positive function of regional richness, because local sites were colonized from the regional species pool. Ten years after disturbance, the positive relationship persisted, but the slope had decreased by half. These results suggest that disturbance can set the stage for strong influences of regional species pools on local community assembly in temperate forests. However, as time since disturbance increases, local controls on community assembly decouple the relationships between regional and local diversity. ?? 2009 by the Ecological Society of America.

  20. Advanced analysis of forest fire clustering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanevski, Mikhail; Pereira, Mario; Golay, Jean

    2017-04-01

    Analysis of point pattern clustering is an important topic in spatial statistics and for many applications: biodiversity, epidemiology, natural hazards, geomarketing, etc. There are several fundamental approaches used to quantify spatial data clustering using topological, statistical and fractal measures. In the present research, the recently introduced multi-point Morisita index (mMI) is applied to study the spatial clustering of forest fires in Portugal. The data set consists of more than 30000 fire events covering the time period from 1975 to 2013. The distribution of forest fires is very complex and highly variable in space. mMI is a multi-point extension of the classical two-point Morisita index. In essence, mMI is estimated by covering the region under study by a grid and by computing how many times more likely it is that m points selected at random will be from the same grid cell than it would be in the case of a complete random Poisson process. By changing the number of grid cells (size of the grid cells), mMI characterizes the scaling properties of spatial clustering. From mMI, the data intrinsic dimension (fractal dimension) of the point distribution can be estimated as well. In this study, the mMI of forest fires is compared with the mMI of random patterns (RPs) generated within the validity domain defined as the forest area of Portugal. It turns out that the forest fires are highly clustered inside the validity domain in comparison with the RPs. Moreover, they demonstrate different scaling properties at different spatial scales. The results obtained from the mMI analysis are also compared with those of fractal measures of clustering - box counting and sand box counting approaches. REFERENCES Golay J., Kanevski M., Vega Orozco C., Leuenberger M., 2014: The multipoint Morisita index for the analysis of spatial patterns. Physica A, 406, 191-202. Golay J., Kanevski M. 2015: A new estimator of intrinsic dimension based on the multipoint Morisita index

  1. Use of fire spread and hydrology models to target forest management on a municipal watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anurag Srivastava; William J. Elliot; Joan Wu

    2015-01-01

    A small town relies on a forested watershed for its water supply. The forest is at risk for a wildfire. To reduce this risk, some of the watershed will be thinned followed by a prescribed burn. This paper reports on a study to evaluate the impact of such watershed disturbances on water yield. To target management activities, a fire spread model was applied to the...

  2. PAST AND PRESENT FOREST FIRES IN ITATIAIA NATIONAL PARK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Izar Aximoff

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted with the aim of evaluating the fire reports occurring in the Itatiaia National Park (INP between 1937 and 2008 and aiming to show information about the total number of fires occurred, and the annual burnt areas, in relation with climate and biodiversity, the months of highest occurrence, the origins and causes of fires. A survey of 323 reports of forest fires showed the highest incidence of forest fires in the months of winter, during the dry season, between July and October. The most affected vegetation was that of the “campos de altitude” (high-altitude grasslands, a native ecosystem of Atlantic Rainforest restricted to the isolated southeastern high peaks and plateaus. Most of the fires had unknown origins and causes, and only twice were examinations by experts carried out. Data revealed INP fragility against forest fires and the importance and the need of Forest Fire Privation and Control Plans for effective biodiversity protection.

  3. Post fire indicators of fire intensity at indigenous forest margins in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of this study was to identify post fire indicators of fire intensity at indigenous forest margins in the southern Cape. Three sites in the southern Cape were subjectively chosen in recently burnt areas to represent areas of varying fire intensity. Tree mortality outside the forest edge confirmed our subjective classification ...

  4. Fire Patterns and Drivers of Fires in the West African Tropical Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwomoh, F. K.; Wimberly, M. C.

    2015-12-01

    The West African tropical forest (referred to as the Upper Guinean forest, UGF), is a global biodiversity hotspot providing vital ecosystem services for the region's socio-economic and environmental wellbeing. It is also one of the most fragmented and human-modified tropical forest ecosystems, with the only remaining large patches of original forests contained in protected areas. However, these remnant forests are susceptible to continued fire-mediated degradation and forest loss due to intense climatic, demographic and land use pressures. We analyzed human and climatic drivers of fire activity in the sub-region to better understand the spatial and temporal patterns of these risks. We utilized MODIS active fire and burned area products to identify fire activity within the sub-region. We measured climatic variability using TRMM rainfall data and derived indicators of human land use from a variety of geospatial datasets. We used a boosted regression trees model to determine the influences of predictor variables on fire activity. Our analyses indicated that the spatial and temporal variability of precipitation is a key driving factor of fire activity in the UGF. Anthropogenic effects on fire activity in the area were evident through the influences of agriculture and low-density populations. These human footprints in the landscape make forests more susceptible to fires through forest fragmentation, degradation, and fire spread from agricultural areas. Forested protected areas within the forest savanna mosaic experienced frequent fires, whereas the more humid forest areas located in the south and south-western portions of the study area had fewer fires as these rainforests tend to offer some buffering against fire encroachment. These results improve characterization of UGF fire regime and expand our understanding of the spatio-temporal dynamics of tropical forest fires in response to human and climatic pressures.

  5. Humid tropical forest disturbance alerts using Landsat data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Matthew C.; Krylov, Alexander; Tyukavina, Alexandra; Potapov, Peter V.; Turubanova, Svetlana; Zutta, Bryan; Ifo, Suspense; Margono, Belinda; Stolle, Fred; Moore, Rebecca

    2016-03-01

    A Landsat-based humid tropical forest disturbance alert was implemented for Peru, the Republic of Congo and Kalimantan, Indonesia. Alerts were mapped on a weekly basis as new terrain-corrected Landsat 7 and 8 images were made available; results are presented for all of 2014 and through September 2015. The three study areas represent different stages of the forest land use transition, with all featuring a variety of disturbance dynamics including logging, smallholder agriculture, and agroindustrial development. Results for Peru were formally validated and alerts found to have very high user’s accuracies and moderately high producer’s accuracies, indicating an appropriately conservative product suitable for supporting land management and enforcement activities. Complete pan-tropical coverage will be implemented during 2016 in support of the Global Forest Watch initiative. To date, Global Forest Watch produces annual global forest loss area estimates using a comparatively richer set of Landsat inputs. The alert product is presented as an interim update of forest disturbance events between comprehensive annual updates. Results from this study are available for viewing and download at http://glad.geog.umd.edu/forest-alerts and www.globalforestwatch.org.

  6. A decision-tree-based method for reconstructing disturbance history in the Russia boreal forests over 30 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, D.; Loboda, T. V.

    2012-12-01

    The boreal forest is one of the largest biomes on Earth and carries crucial significance in numerous aspects. Located in the high latitude region of the Northern Hemisphere, it is predicted that the boreal forest is subject to the highest level of influence under the changing climate, which may impose profound impacts on the global carbon and energy budget. Of the entire boreal biome, approximately two thirds consists of the Russian boreal forest, which is also the largest forested zone in the world. Fire and logging have been the predominant disturbance types in the Russian boreal forest, which accelerate the speed of carbon release into the atmosphere. To better understand these processes, records of past disturbance are in great need. However, there has been no comprehensive and unbiased multi-decadal record of forest disturbance in this region. This paper illustrates a method for reconstructing disturbance history in the Russia boreal forests over 30 years. This method takes advantage of data from both Landsat, which has a long data record but limited spatial coverage, and the Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer (MODIS), which has wall-to-wall spatial coverage but limited period of observations. We developed a standardized and semi-automated approach to extract training and validation data samples from Landsat imagery. Landsat data, dating back to 1984, were used to generate maps of forest disturbance using temporal shifts in Disturbance Index through the multi-temporal stack of imagery in selected locations. The disturbed forests are attributed to logging or burning causes by means of visual examination. The Landsat-based disturbance maps are then used as reference data to train a decision tree classifier on 2003 MODIS data. This classifier utilizes multiple direct MODIS products including the BRDF-adjusted surface reflectance, a suite of vegetation indices, and land surface temperature. The algorithm also capitalizes on seasonal variability in class

  7. Early forest fire detection using radio-acoustic sounding system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahin, Yasar Guneri; Ince, Turker

    2009-01-01

    Automated early fire detection systems have recently received a significant amount of attention due to their importance in protecting the global environment. Some emergent technologies such as ground-based, satellite-based remote sensing and distributed sensor networks systems have been used to detect forest fires in the early stages. In this study, a radio-acoustic sounding system with fine space and time resolution capabilities for continuous monitoring and early detection of forest fires is proposed. Simulations show that remote thermal mapping of a particular forest region by the proposed system could be a potential solution to the problem of early detection of forest fires.

  8. Fire and fire surrogate treatments in mixed-oak forests: Effects on herbaceous layer vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross Phillips; Todd Hutchinson; Lucy Brudnak; Thomas Waldrop

    2007-01-01

    Herbaceous layer vegetation responses to prescribed fire and fire surrogate treatments (thinning and understory removal) were examined. Results from 3 to 4 years following treatment are presented for the Ohio Hills Country and the Southern Appalachian Mountain sites of the National Fire and Fire Surrogate Study. At the Ohio Hills site, changes in forest structure were...

  9. Restoring surface fire stabilizes forest carbon under extreme fire weather in the Sierra Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel J. Krofcheck; Matthew D. Hurteau; Robert M. Scheller; E. Louise Loudermilk

    2017-01-01

    Climate change in the western United States has increased the frequency of extreme fire weather events and is projected to increase the area burned by wildfire in the coming decades. This changing fire regime, coupled with increased high-severity fire risk from a legacy of fire exclusion, could destabilize forest carbon (C), decrease net ecosystem exchange (...

  10. The causes of fires on northeastern national forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    William A. Main; Donald A. Haines

    1974-01-01

    Presents cross-tabulations of classes of people, activities, and causes responsible for forest fires on national forests. The data combinations indicate that greater prevention efforts might be directed toward hunters and fishermen.

  11. Natural disturbance impacts on ecosystem services and biodiversity in temperate and boreal forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thom, Dominik; Seidl, Rupert

    2016-08-01

    In many parts of the world forest disturbance regimes have intensified recently, and future climatic changes are expected to amplify this development further in the coming decades. These changes are increasingly challenging the main objectives of forest ecosystem management, which are to provide ecosystem services sustainably to society and maintain the biological diversity of forests. Yet a comprehensive understanding of how disturbances affect these primary goals of ecosystem management is still lacking. We conducted a global literature review on the impact of three of the most important disturbance agents (fire, wind, and bark beetles) on 13 different ecosystem services and three indicators of biodiversity in forests of the boreal, cool- and warm-temperate biomes. Our objectives were to (i) synthesize the effect of natural disturbances on a wide range of possible objectives of forest management, and (ii) investigate standardized effect sizes of disturbance for selected indicators via a quantitative meta-analysis. We screened a total of 1958 disturbance studies published between 1981 and 2013, and reviewed 478 in detail. We first investigated the overall effect of disturbances on individual ecosystem services and indicators of biodiversity by means of independence tests, and subsequently examined the effect size of disturbances on indicators of carbon storage and biodiversity by means of regression analysis. Additionally, we investigated the effect of commonly used approaches of disturbance management, i.e. salvage logging and prescribed burning. We found that disturbance impacts on ecosystem services are generally negative, an effect that was supported for all categories of ecosystem services, i.e. supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural services (P biodiversity, i.e. species richness, habitat quality and diversity indices, on the other hand were found to be influenced positively by disturbance (P biodiversity. A detailed investigation of disturbance

  12. Assessment of Post Forest Fire Landslides in Uttarakhand Himalaya, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, N.; Singh, R. B.

    2017-12-01

    According to Forest Survey of India-State Forest Report (2015), the total geographical area of Uttarakhand is 53, 483 covers km2 out of which 24,402 km2 area covers under total forest covers. As noticed during last week of April, 2016 forest of Uttarakhand mountains was gutted down due to major incidences of fire. This incident caused huge damage to different species of flora-fauna, human being, livestock, property and destruction of mountain ecosystem. As per media reports, six people were lost their lives and recorded several charred carcasses of livestock's due to this incident. The forest fire was affected the eleven out of total thirteen districts which roughly covers the 0.2% (approx.) of total vegetation covers.The direct impact of losses are easy to be estimated but indirect impacts of this forest fire are yet to be occurred. The threat of post Forest fire induced landslides during rainfall is themain concern. Since, after forest fire top soil and rocks are loose due to loss of vegetation as binding and protecting agent against rainfall. Therefore, the pore water pressure and weathering will be very high during rainy season which can cause many landslides in regions affected by forest fire. The demarcation of areas worse affected by forest fire is necessary for issuing alerts to habitations and important infrastructures. These alerts will be based upon region specific probable rainfall forecasting through Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). The main objective is to develop a tool for detecting early forest fire and to create awareness amongst mountain community, researchers and concerned government agencies to take an appropriate measures to minimize the incidences of Forest fire and impact of post forest fire landslides in future through implementation of sustainable mountain strategy.

  13. Structure, disturbance, and change in the bristlecone pine forests of Colorado, U.S.A

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baker, W.L.

    1992-01-01

    To analyze trends in the structure of forests dominated by Colorado bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata Bailey) the author sampled size class structures, collected environmental data, and determined the approximate year of origin of these forests at 65 sites scattered throughout the range of P. aristata in Colorado. Cluster analysis and detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) were used to identify major trends in the size class data. The size class data suggest that P. aristata is a long-lived species that primarily regenerates following fires. The DCA results suggest that (1) the major trend in variation in structure was related to time since disturbance, and (2) Populus tremuloides Michx. is present as numerous small stems in some of the P. aristata forests regardless of the age of these forests, a role for P. tremuloides that is at odds with the traditional view of this tree as primarily a seral species in the Rocky Mountains. Many P. aristata stands originated near A.D. 1900 and between A.D. 1625 and 1700. These were warm, dry periods that might have promoted fires, and they were also periods when sunspot numbers were low. The Southern Oscillation Index did not correlate with times of abundant stand origins. Although many P. aristata forests are over 500 yr old, these forests do not appear to be stable or unchanging

  14. Pervasive growth reduction in Norway spruce forests following wind disturbance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rupert Seidl

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In recent decades the frequency and severity of natural disturbances by e.g., strong winds and insect outbreaks has increased considerably in many forest ecosystems around the world. Future climate change is expected to further intensify disturbance regimes, which makes addressing disturbances in ecosystem management a top priority. As a prerequisite a broader understanding of disturbance impacts and ecosystem responses is needed. With regard to the effects of strong winds--the most detrimental disturbance agent in Europe--monitoring and management has focused on structural damage, i.e., tree mortality from uprooting and stem breakage. Effects on the functioning of trees surviving the storm (e.g., their productivity and allocation have been rarely accounted for to date. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we show that growth reduction was significant and pervasive in a 6.79 million hectare forest landscape in southern Sweden following the storm Gudrun (January 2005. Wind-related growth reduction in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L. Karst. forests surviving the storm exceeded 10% in the worst hit regions, and was closely related to maximum gust wind speed (R(2 = 0.849 and structural wind damage (R(2 = 0.782. At the landscape scale, wind-related growth reduction amounted to 3.0 million m(3 in the three years following Gudrun. It thus exceeds secondary damage from bark beetles after Gudrun as well as the long-term average storm damage from uprooting and stem breakage in Sweden. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that the impact of strong winds on forest ecosystems is not limited to the immediately visible area of structural damage, and call for a broader consideration of disturbance effects on ecosystem structure and functioning in the context of forest management and climate change mitigation.

  15. The human and fire connection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theresa B. Jain

    2014-01-01

    We refer to fire as a natural disturbance, but unlike other disturbances such as forest insects and diseases, fire has had an intimate relationship with humans. Fire facilitated human evolution over two million years ago when our ancestors began to use fire to cook. Fire empowered our furbearers to adapt to cold climates, allowing humans to disperse and settle into...

  16. The Impact of Increasing Fire Frequency on Forest Transformations in the Zabaikal Region, Southern Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conard, S. G.; Kukavskaya, E. A.; Buryak, L. V.; Shvetsov, E.; Kalenskaya, O. P.; Zhila, S.

    2017-12-01

    The Zabaikal region of southern Siberia is characterized by some of the highest fire activity in Russia. There has been a significant increase of fire frequency and burned area in the region over the last two decades due to a combination of high anthropogenic pressure, decreased funding to the forestry sector, and increased fire danger, which was associated with higher frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Central and southern parts of the Zabaikal region where population density is higher and road network is relatively more developed are the most disturbed by fires. Larch stands cover the largest proportion of fire-disturbed lands in the region, while the less common pine and birch stands are characterized by higher fire frequency. About 13% (3.9 M ha) of the total forest area in the Zabaikal region was burned more than once in the 20 years from 1996 to 2015, with many sites burned multiple times. Repeat disturbances led to inadequate tree regeneration on all but the moistest sites. Pine stands on dry soils, which are common in the forest-steppe zone, were the most vulnerable. After repeat burns and over large burned sites we observed transformation of the forests to steppe ecosystems. The most likely causes of insufficient forest regeneration are soil overheating, dominance of tall grasses, and lack of nearby seed sources. Extensive tree plantations have potential to mitigate negative fire impacts; however, due to high fire hazard in the recent decade about half of the plantation area has been burned. Changes in the SWVI index were used to assess postfire reforestation based on a combination of satellite and field data. In the southwestern part of the Zabaikal region, we estimated that reforestation had been hampered over 11% of the forest land area. Regional climate models project increasing temperatures and decreasing precipitation across Siberia by the end of the 21st century, with changes in the Zabaikal region projected to be more than twice the

  17. A stochastic Forest Fire Model for future land cover scenarios assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. D'Andrea

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Land cover is affected by many factors including economic development, climate and natural disturbances such as wildfires. The ability to evaluate how fire regimes may alter future vegetation, and how future vegetation may alter fire regimes, would assist forest managers in planning management actions to be carried out in the face of anticipated socio-economic and climatic change. In this paper, we present a method for calibrating a cellular automata wildfire regime simulation model with actual data on land cover and wildfire size-frequency. The method is based on the observation that many forest fire regimes, in different forest types and regions, exhibit power law frequency-area distributions. The standard Drossel-Schwabl cellular automata Forest Fire Model (DS-FFM produces simulations which reproduce this observed pattern. However, the standard model is simplistic in that it considers land cover to be binary – each cell either contains a tree or it is empty – and the model overestimates the frequency of large fires relative to actual landscapes. Our new model, the Modified Forest Fire Model (MFFM, addresses this limitation by incorporating information on actual land use and differentiating among various types of flammable vegetation. The MFFM simulation model was tested on forest types with Mediterranean and sub-tropical fire regimes. The results showed that the MFFM was able to reproduce structural fire regime parameters for these two regions. Further, the model was used to forecast future land cover. Future research will extend this model to refine the forecasts of future land cover and fire regime scenarios under climate, land use and socio-economic change.

  18. Oak woodlands and forests fire consortium: A regional view of fire science sharing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabner, Keith W.; Stambaugh, Michael C.; Marschall, Joseph M.; Abadir, Erin R.

    2013-01-01

    The Joint Fire Science Program established 14 regional fire science knowledge exchange consortia to improve the delivery of fire science information and communication among fire managers and researchers. Consortia were developed regionally to ensure that fire science information is tailored to meet regional needs. In this paper, emphasis was placed on the Oak Woodlands and Forests Fire Consortium to provide an inside view of how one regional consortium is organized and its experiences in sharing fire science through various social media, conference, and workshop-based fire science events.

  19. Sensitivity of ALOS/PALSAR imagery to forest degradation by fire in northern Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Flora da Silva Ramos Vieira; dos Santos, João Roberto; Galvão, Lênio Soares; Xaud, Haron Abrahim Magalhães

    2016-07-01

    We evaluated the sensitivity of the full polarimetric Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR), onboard the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS), to forest degradation caused by fires in northern Amazon, Brazil. We searched for changes in PALSAR signal and tri-dimensional polarimetric responses for different classes of fire disturbance defined by fire frequency and severity. Since the aboveground biomass (AGB) is affected by fire, multiple regression models to estimate AGB were obtained for the whole set of coherent and incoherent attributes (general model) and for each set separately (specific models). The results showed that the polarimetric L-band PALSAR attributes were sensitive to variations in canopy structure and AGB caused by forest fire. However, except for the unburned and thrice burned classes, no single PALSAR attribute was able to discriminate between the intermediate classes of forest degradation by fire. Both the coherent and incoherent polarimetric attributes were important to explain AGB variations in tropical forests affected by fire. The HV backscattering coefficient, anisotropy, double-bounce component, orientation angle, volume index and HH-VV phase difference were PALSAR attributes selected from multiple regression analysis to estimate AGB. The general regression model, combining phase and power radar metrics, presented better results than specific models using coherent or incoherent attributes. The polarimetric responses indicated the dominance of VV-oriented backscattering in primary forest and lightly burned forests. The HH-oriented backscattering predominated in heavily and frequently burned forests. The results suggested a greater contribution of horizontally arranged constituents such as fallen trunks or branches in areas severely affected by fire.

  20. Do insect outbreaks reduce the severity of subsequent forest fires?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meigs, Garrett W.; Zald, Harold S. J.; Campbell, John L.; Keeton, William S.; Kennedy, Robert E.

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the causes and consequences of rapid environmental change is an essential scientific frontier, particularly given the threat of climate- and land use-induced changes in disturbance regimes. In western North America, recent widespread insect outbreaks and wildfires have sparked acute concerns about potential insect-fire interactions. Although previous research shows that insect activity typically does not increase wildfire likelihood, key uncertainties remain regarding insect effects on wildfire severity (i.e., ecological impact). Recent assessments indicate that outbreak severity and burn severity are not strongly associated, but these studies have been limited to specific insect or fire events. Here, we present a regional census of large wildfire severity following outbreaks of two prevalent bark beetle and defoliator species, mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) and western spruce budworm (Choristoneura freemani), across the US Pacific Northwest. We first quantify insect effects on burn severity with spatial modeling at the fire event scale and then evaluate how these effects vary across the full population of insect-fire events (n = 81 spanning 1987-2011). In contrast to common assumptions of positive feedbacks, we find that insects generally reduce the severity of subsequent wildfires. Specific effects vary with insect type and timing, but both insects decrease the abundance of live vegetation susceptible to wildfire at multiple time lags. By dampening subsequent burn severity, native insects could buffer rather than exacerbate fire regime changes expected due to land use and climate change. In light of these findings, we recommend a precautionary approach when designing and implementing forest management policies intended to reduce wildfire hazard and increase resilience to global change.

  1. DisturbED: A Generalized Framework for Modeling Forest Insects and Pathogens in the Earth System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthes, J. H.

    2016-12-01

    Forest insects and pathogens (FIPs) are ubiquitous agents of disturbance that cause major alterations to ecosystem function and billions of dollars in damage annually. Future feedbacks between FIPs, forests, and climate change are not well understood at continental scales, due in part to the absence of the processes modulated by FIPs within Earth System Models (ESMs). To address this challenge, we developed a generalized, globally-scalable framework — DisturbED — in which mechanistic impacts of FIPs on plant physiology are scaled up to ecosystem-level processes so they can be integrated into ESMs. This framework can be used to test a suite of hypotheses concerning the effects of FIPs on forest biogeochemistry, demography, and structure in response to FIPs that vary in their host specificity, timescale and intensity of attack, and sensitivity to climatic change. Both native and invasive FIPs initiate a vast range of ecophysiological responses within individual trees, from slight stress and recovery to rapid mortality. Rather than modeling FIPs as direct agents of mortality, DisturbED couples FIP functional types with changes in individual host plant physiology to simulate resulting changes in ecosystem processes within the Ecosystem Demography (ED) model. This bottom-up modeling framework will allow for investigation of interactions among tree and FIPs physiology; demography and ecosystem dynamics; and their contingency on climatic change.

  2. Forest disturbance type differentially affects seasonal moose forage

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.A. Lautenschlager; Hewlette S. Crawford; Martin R. Stokes; Timothy L. Stone

    1997-01-01

    We examined the effects of forest disturbance on forage availability, moose (Alces alces) seasonal forage selection, and predicted in vivo digestibility in eastern Maine. Wet-mass estimates and dry-mass conversions of species consumed by 3 tamed moose were made throughout the year (late winter, early spring, late spring, summer, fall, early winter)...

  3. Disturbance, diversity and distributions in Central African rain forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gemerden, van B.S.

    2004-01-01

    The aim of this study is to gain insight in the impact of human land use on plant community composition, diversity and levels of endemism in Central African rain forest. Human disturbance in this region is causing large-scale habitat degradation. The two most widespread forms of land use are

  4. Fire catalyzed rapid ecological change in lowland coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest over the past 14,000 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crausbay, Shelley D; Higuera, Philip E; Sprugel, Douglas G; Brubaker, Linda B

    2017-09-01

    Disturbance can catalyze rapid ecological change by causing widespread mortality and initiating successional pathways, and during times of climate change, disturbance may contribute to ecosystem state changes by initiating a new successional pathway. In the Pacific Northwest of North America (PNW), disturbance by wildfires strongly shapes the composition and structure of lowland forests, but understanding the role of fire over periods of climate change is challenging, because fire-return intervals are long (e.g., millennia) and the coniferous trees dominating these forests can live for many centuries. We developed stand-scale paleorecords of vegetation and fire that span nearly the past 14,000 yr to study how fire was associated with state changes and rapid dynamics in forest vegetation at the stand scale (1-3 ha). We studied forest history with sediment cores from small hollow sites in the Marckworth State Forest, located ~1 km apart in the Tsuga heterophylla Zone in the Puget Lowland ecoregion of western Washington, USA. The median rate of change in pollen/spore assemblages was similar between sites (0.12 and 0.14% per year), but at both sites, rates of change increased significantly following fire events (ranging up to 1% per year, with a median of 0.28 and 0.38%, P climate velocity, forest composition was resilient to fires, which initiated successional pathways leading back to the dominant vegetation type. In contrast, during times of high climate variability and velocity (e.g., the early Holocene) forests were not resilient to fires, which triggered large-scale state changes. These records provide clear evidence that disturbance, in the form of an individual fire event, can be an important catalyst for rapid state changes, accelerating vegetation shifts in response to large-scale climate change. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  5. Assessing the effects of fire disturbance on ecosystems: a scientific agenda for research and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel L. Schmoldt; David L. Peterson; Robert E. Keane; James M. Lenihan; Donald McKenzie; David R. Weise; David V. Sandberg

    1999-01-01

    A team of fire scientists and resource managers convened 17-19 April 1996 in Seattle, Washington, to assess the effects of fire disturbance on ecosystems. Objectives of this workshop were to develop scientific recommendations for future fire research and management activities. These recommendations included a series of numerically ranked scientific and managerial...

  6. Charcoal records reveal past occurrences of disturbances in the forests of the Kisangani region, Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tshibamba Mukendi, John; Hubau, Wannes; Ntahobavuka, Honorine; Boyemba Bosela, Faustin; De Cannière, Charles; Beeckman, Hans

    2014-05-01

    Past disturbances have modified local density, structure and floristic composition of Central African rainforests. As such, these perturbations represent a driving force for forest dynamics and they were presumably at the origin of present-day forest mosaics. One of the most prominent disturbances within the forest is fire, leaving behind charcoal as a witness of past forest dynamics. Quantification and identification of ancient charcoal fragments found in soil layers (= pedoanthracology) allows a detailed reconstruction of forest history, including the possible occurrence of past perturbations. The primary objective of this study is to present palaeoenvironmental evidence for the existence of past disturbances in the forests of the Kisangani region (Democratic Republic of the Congo) using a pedoanthracological approach. We quantified and identified charcoal fragments from pedoanthracological excavations in the Yangambi, Yoko, Masako and Kole forest regions. Charcoal sampling was conducted in pit intervals of 10 cm, whereby pottery fragments were also registered and quantified. Floristic identifications were conducted using former protocols based on wood anatomy, which is largely preserved after charcoalification. 14 excavations were conducted and charcoal was found in most pit intervals. Specifically, 52 out of 56 sampled intervals from the Yangambi forest contained charcoal, along with 47 pit intervals from the Yoko forest reserve, 34 pit intervals from the Masako forest and 16 from the Kole forest. Highest specific anthracomasses were recorded in Yoko (167 mg charcoal per kg soil), followed by Yangambi (133 mg/kg), Masako (71,89 mg/kg) and finally Kole (42,4 mg/kg). Charcoal identifications point at a manifest presence of the family of Fabaceae (Caesalpinioideae). This family is characteristic for the tropical humid rainforest. The presence of charcoal fragments from these taxa, associated with pottery sherds on different depths within the profiles, suggests

  7. Tree age, disturbance history, and carbon stocks and fluxes in subalpine Rocky Mountain forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.B. Bradford; R.A. Birdsey; L.A. Joyce; M.G. Ryan

    2008-01-01

    Forest carbon stocks and fluxes vary with forest age, and relationships with forest age are often used to estimate fluxes for regional or national carbon inventories. Two methods are commonly used to estimate forest age: observed tree age or time since a known disturbance. To clarify the relationships between tree age, time since disturbance and forest carbon storage...

  8. Presettlement and modern disturbance regimes in coast redwood forests: Implications for the conservation of old-growth stands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorimer, Craig G.; Porter, Daniel J.; Madej, Mary Ann; Stuart, John D.; Veirs, Stephen D.; Norman, Steven P.; O'Hara, Kevin L.; Libby, William J.

    2009-01-01

    Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), a western North American conifer of ancient lineage, has a paradoxical combination of late-successional characteristics and strong adaptations to disturbance. Despite its shade tolerance and heavy dominance of the canopy on many sites, redwood saplings are uncommon in upland old-growth stands. Information needed to ensure the conservation of old-growth redwood forests has been limited. In this review paper, we integrate evidence on redwood biology with data on the historic and modern disturbance regimes to help clarify the degree to which key attributes of redwood forests may have been dependent upon periodic disturbance. Available evidence suggests that episodes of fire, flooding, and slope failure prior to European settlement were frequent but predominantly of low to moderate severity and extent, resulting in broadly uneven-aged forests. The majority of fires prior to European settlement were apparently of human origin. Frequency and severity of the major disturbance agents have been radically changed in modern times. Fires have been largely excluded, and flooding has been altered in ways that have often been detrimental to old-growth redwoods on alluvial terraces. However, because of the apparent anthropogenic origin of most presettlement fires, the long-term evolutionary role of fire for coast redwood is ecologically ambiguous. With fire exclusion, redwood possibly could be displaced to some extent on upland sites by increasing abundance of fire-sensitive competitors. Alternatively, redwood may be able to maintain dominance by vegetative sprouting and new seedling establishment on root-wad mounds, fallen logs, and on soil exposed by slope failure. Future research priorities are suggested that will help resolve some of the current ambiguities.

  9. Increase in carbon emissions from forest fires after intensive reforestation and forest management programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sung-Deuk; Chang, Yoon-Seok; Park, Byung-Kwon

    2006-12-15

    This paper shows an example of substantial increase in carbon emissions from forest fires after reforestation on a national scale. It is the first estimation of historical carbon emissions from forest fires in Korea during the last 40 years. Investigation was focused on the recent increase in large forest fires and its closely related factors. A simple modeling approach to estimate carbon emission was applied. The direct carbon emission from forest fires in 2000, ranging from 115 to 300 Gg C, corresponds to 1-3% of the annual carbon uptake by forests. The influence of forest fires on the carbon cycle in Korea is not so significant, but Korean forests have a large potential for generating severe local fires due to increasing forest carbon density and a high forest area ratio (forest area/total land area) of 65%. The carbon emission per area burned (Mg C ha(-1)) clearly reflects the trend toward increases in the number of severe fires. Statistical analyses and the trends of annual temperature and precipitation show that the recent large increase in carbon emissions may be the negative consequences of intensive forest regrowth that is the product of successful reforestation and forest management programs rather than the effect of climate change. These results imply a need for further studies in other countries, where large-scale plantation has been conducted, to evaluate the role of plantation and forest fires on the global carbon cycle.

  10. Forest Fire History... A Computer Method of Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romain M. Meese

    1973-01-01

    A series of computer programs is available to extract information from the individual Fire Reports (U.S. Forest Service Form 5100-29). The programs use a statistical technique to fit a continuous distribution to a set of sampled data. The goodness-of-fit program is applicable to data other than the fire history. Data summaries illustrate analysis of fire occurrence,...

  11. Fuels planning: Managing forest structure to reduce fire hazard

    Science.gov (United States)

    David L. Peterson; Morris C. Johnson; James K. Agee; Theresa B. Jain; Donald McKenzie; Elizabeth D. Reinhardt

    2003-01-01

    Prior to the 20th century, low intensity fires burned regularly in most arid to semiarid forest ecosystems, with ignitions caused by lightning and humans (e.g., Baisan and Swetnam 1997, Allen et al. 2002, Hessl et al. 2004). Low intensity fires controlled regeneration of fire sensitive (e.g., grand fir [Abies grandis]) species (Arno and Allison-Bunnell 2002), promoted...

  12. Impact of forest disturbance on the pollen influx in lake sediments during the last century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koff; Punning; Kangur

    2000-08-01

    The pollen accumulation rates of four lakes in different regions of Estonia were estimated in order to study the relationship between pollen influx and the character and intensity of disturbances in the pollen catchment area. The pollen influx data obtained are in accordance with model calculations on the size of the pollen source areas. The influx of arboreal pollen and that of the dominant taxa (mainly Pinus) in the lakes investigated shows that, in the case of small lakes (area 3-6ha) in a forested landscapes, the bulk of the pollen originates from an area within 100-200m around the lake. The distribution patterns of influx from two lakes situated close to each other but at different distances from forest fires show that past disturbances can be reliably detected when the disturbance occurred in the immediate vicinity of the lake and at least 25% of the local pollen source area was involved. In the case of a large lake (137ha) only fires embracing thousands of hectares can be detected in the pollen diagrams.

  13. Effects of disturbance and climate change on ecosystem performance in the Yukon River Basin boreal forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wylie, Bruce K.; Rigge, Matthew B.; Brisco, Brian; Mrnaghan, Kevin; Rover, Jennifer R.; Long, Jordan

    2014-01-01

    A warming climate influences boreal forest productivity, dynamics, and disturbance regimes. We used ecosystem models and 250 m satellite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data averaged over the growing season (GSN) to model current, and estimate future, ecosystem performance. We modeled Expected Ecosystem Performance (EEP), or anticipated productivity, in undisturbed stands over the 2000–2008 period from a variety of abiotic data sources, using a rule-based piecewise regression tree. The EEP model was applied to a future climate ensemble A1B projection to quantify expected changes to mature boreal forest performance. Ecosystem Performance Anomalies (EPA), were identified as the residuals of the EEP and GSN relationship and represent performance departures from expected performance conditions. These performance data were used to monitor successional events following fire. Results suggested that maximum EPA occurs 30–40 years following fire, and deciduous stands generally have higher EPA than coniferous stands. Mean undisturbed EEP is projected to increase 5.6% by 2040 and 8.7% by 2070, suggesting an increased deciduous component in boreal forests. Our results contribute to the understanding of boreal forest successional dynamics and its response to climate change. This information enables informed decisions to prepare for, and adapt to, climate change in the Yukon River Basin forest.

  14. Effects of Disturbance and Climate Change on Ecosystem Performance in the Yukon River Basin Boreal Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce Wylie

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available A warming climate influences boreal forest productivity, dynamics, and disturbance regimes. We used ecosystem models and 250 m satellite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI data averaged over the growing season (GSN to model current, and estimate future, ecosystem performance. We modeled Expected Ecosystem Performance (EEP, or anticipated productivity, in undisturbed stands over the 2000–2008 period from a variety of abiotic data sources, using a rule-based piecewise regression tree. The EEP model was applied to a future climate ensemble A1B projection to quantify expected changes to mature boreal forest performance. Ecosystem Performance Anomalies (EPA, were identified as the residuals of the EEP and GSN relationship and represent performance departures from expected performance conditions. These performance data were used to monitor successional events following fire. Results suggested that maximum EPA occurs 30–40 years following fire, and deciduous stands generally have higher EPA than coniferous stands. Mean undisturbed EEP is projected to increase 5.6% by 2040 and 8.7% by 2070, suggesting an increased deciduous component in boreal forests. Our results contribute to the understanding of boreal forest successional dynamics and its response to climate change. This information enables informed decisions to prepare for, and adapt to, climate change in the Yukon River Basin forest.

  15. Determining the size of a complete disturbance landscape: multi-scale, continental analysis of forest change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buma, Brian; Costanza, Jennifer K; Riitters, Kurt

    2017-11-21

    The scale of investigation for disturbance-influenced processes plays a critical role in theoretical assumptions about stability, variance, and equilibrium, as well as conservation reserve and long-term monitoring program design. Critical consideration of scale is required for robust planning designs, especially when anticipating future disturbances whose exact locations are unknown. This research quantified disturbance proportion and pattern (as contagion) at multiple scales across North America. This pattern of scale-associated variability can guide selection of study and management extents, for example, to minimize variance (measured as standard deviation) between any landscapes within an ecoregion. We identified the proportion and pattern of forest disturbance (30 m grain size) across multiple landscape extents up to 180 km 2 . We explored the variance in proportion of disturbed area and the pattern of that disturbance between landscapes (within an ecoregion) as a function of the landscape extent. In many ecoregions, variance between landscapes within an ecoregion was minimal at broad landscape extents (low standard deviation). Gap-dominated regions showed the least variance, while fire-dominated showed the largest. Intensively managed ecoregions displayed unique patterns. A majority of the ecoregions showed low variance between landscapes at some scale, indicating an appropriate extent for incorporating natural regimes and unknown future disturbances was identified. The quantification of the scales of disturbance at the ecoregion level provides guidance for individuals interested in anticipating future disturbances which will occur in unknown spatial locations. Information on the extents required to incorporate disturbance patterns into planning is crucial for that process.

  16. Forest Fire Finder - DOAS application to long-range forest fire detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente de Almeida, Rui; Vieira, Pedro

    2017-06-01

    Fires are an important factor in shaping Earth's ecosystems. Plant and animal life, in almost every land habitat, are at least partially dependent on the effects of fire. However, their destructive force, which has often proven uncontrollable, is one of our greatest concerns, effectively resulting in several policies in the most important industrialised regions of the globe. This paper aims to comprehensively characterise the Forest Fire Finder (FFF), a forest fire detection system based mainly upon a spectroscopic technique called differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS). The system is designed and configured with the goal of detecting higher-than-the-horizon smoke columns by measuring and comparing scattered sunlight spectra. The article covers hardware and software, as well as their interactions and specific algorithms for day mode operation. An analysis of data retrieved from several installations deployed in the course of the last 5 years is also presented. Finally, this paper features a discussion on the most prominent future improvements planned for the system, as well as its ramifications and adaptations, such as a thermal imaging system for short-range fire seeking or environmental quality control.

  17. Monitoring Regional Forest Disturbances across the US with near Real Time MODIS NDVI Products Resident to the ForWarn Forest Threat Early Warning System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spruce, Joseph P.; Hargrove, William W.; Gasser, Gerald

    2013-01-01

    computed versus the previous 1, previous 3, and all previous years in the MODIS record for a given 24 day interval. Other "weekly" forest change products include one computed using an adaptive length compositing method for quicker detection of disturbances, two others that adjust for seasonal fluctuations in normal vegetation phenology (e.g., early versus late springs). This overall approach enables forest disturbance dynamics from a variety of regionally evident biotic and abiotic forest disturbances to be viewed and assessed through the calendar year. The change products are also being utilized for forest change trend analysis and for developing regional forest overstory mortality products. ForWarn's forest change products are used to alert forest health specialists about new forest disturbances. Such alerts are also typically based on available Landsat, aerial, and ground data as well as communications with forest health specialists and previous experience. ForWarn products have been used to detect and track many types of regional disturbances to multiple forest types, including defoliation from caterpillars and severe storms, as well as mortality from both biotic and abiotic agents (e.g., bark beetles, drought, fire, anthropogenic clearing). ForWarn offers products that could be combined with other geospatial data on forest biomass to assess forest disturbance carbon impacts within the conterminous US.

  18. Do fire disturbances account for missing C in snow dominated headwater catchments in NM?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perdrial, J. N.; Brooks, P. D.; Swetnam, T.; Lohse, K. A.; Rasmussen, C.; Harpold, A. A.; Litvak, M. E.; Broxton, P. D.; Mitra, B.; Condon, K.; Huckle, D. M.; Vazquez, A.; Lybrand, R. A.; Holleran, M.; Orem, C. A.; Meixner, T.; Chorover, J.

    2013-12-01

    How do fires affect the potential for long term carbon (C) sequestration in the forests of western North America? We quantified current C fluxes (net ecosystem exchange [NEE] and dissolved & particulate stream and ground water fluxes) and pools (above and below ground biomass, [AGB, BGB], soil C) in three catchments of the Jemez River Basin Critical Zone Observatory. Our estimates revealed that study systems are dominated by gaseous fluxes (ranging from 3,200 to 3,900 kg ha-1 yr-1over three years) with only small losses to streams as dissolved or particulate C (5 to 30 kg ha-1 yr-1) or to GW (1-6 kg ha-1 yr-1) rendering these systems substantial sinks for atmospheric C. Our estimates for biomass (20,000 - 240,000 kg ha-1) and soil C (80.000 and 160.000 kg ha-1) are comparable to stocks of similar soil and vegetation types (Lal 2005; North et al. 2009) and at current uptake rates only ~ 50-100 years are necessary for accumulation. Since old soil C accumulated over a longer period of time, current uptake rates are either higher than past ones and/or disturbances reduced the stocks in the past. Logging is documented in these systems but cannot explain the bulk of unaccounted C. Wildfires in contrast have occurred repeatedly in the past and impacted the C budget by reducing stocks (e.g. ~ 8% of AGB, ) during each fire. Additionally, uptake rates after fire are reduced until vegetation regrowth, with microbial respiration and thus carbon loss dominating in the interim. Post-fire debris flows (estimate 800 - 1140 kg C ha-1 after a recent fire in NM) present an additional sink. Together, our results are used to test the hypothesis that recurring wildfires strongly impact the C-balance of seasonally snow-covered forests in the SW US leading to oscillation between sources and sinks for C. Lal R (2005). Forest Ecol Manag 220 (1-3):242-258. North M, Hurteau M, Innes J (2009). Ecol Appl 19 (6):1385-1396.

  19. Predicting Peak Flows following Forest Fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliot, William J.; Miller, Mary Ellen; Dobre, Mariana

    2016-04-01

    Following forest fires, peak flows in perennial and ephemeral streams often increase by a factor of 10 or more. This increase in peak flow rate may overwhelm existing downstream structures, such as road culverts, causing serious damage to road fills at stream crossings. In order to predict peak flow rates following wildfires, we have applied two different tools. One is based on the U.S.D.A Natural Resource Conservation Service Curve Number Method (CN), and the other is by applying the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) to the watershed. In our presentation, we will describe the science behind the two methods, and present the main variables for each model. We will then provide an example of a comparison of the two methods to a fire-prone watershed upstream of the City of Flagstaff, Arizona, USA, where a fire spread model was applied for current fuel loads, and for likely fuel loads following a fuel reduction treatment. When applying the curve number method, determining the time to peak flow can be problematic for low severity fires because the runoff flow paths are both surface and through shallow lateral flow. The WEPP watershed version incorporates shallow lateral flow into stream channels. However, the version of the WEPP model that was used for this study did not have channel routing capabilities, but rather relied on regression relationships to estimate peak flows from individual hillslope polygon peak runoff rates. We found that the two methods gave similar results if applied correctly, with the WEPP predictions somewhat greater than the CN predictions. Later releases of the WEPP model have incorporated alternative methods for routing peak flows that need to be evaluated.

  20. Forest structure and fire hazard in dry forests of the Western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    David L. Peterson; Morris C. Johnson; James K. Agee; Theresa B. Jain; Donald McKenzie; Elizabeth D. Reinhardt

    2005-01-01

    Fire, in conjunction with landforms and climate, shapes the structure and function of forests throughout the Western United States, where millions of acres of forest lands contain accumulations of flammable fuel that are much higher than historical conditions owing to various forms of fire exclusion. The Healthy Forests Restoration Act mandates that public land...

  1. Development of a New Daily-Scale Forest Fire Danger Forecasting System Using Remote Sensing Data

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    Ehsan H. Chowdhury

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Forest fires are a critical natural disturbance in most of the forested ecosystems around the globe, including the Canadian boreal forest where fires are recurrent. Here, our goal was to develop a new daily-scale forest fire danger forecasting system (FFDFS using remote sensing data and implement it over the northern part of Canadian province of Alberta during 2009–2011 fire seasons. The daily-scale FFDFS was comprised of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS-derived four-input variables, i.e., 8-day composite of surface temperature (TS, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI, and normalized multiband drought index (NMDI; and daily precipitable water (PW. The TS, NMDI, and NDVI variables were calculated during i period and PW during j day and then integrated to forecast fire danger conditions in five categories (i.e., extremely high, very high, high, moderate, and low during j + 1 day. Our findings revealed that overall 95.51% of the fires fell under “extremely high” to “moderate” danger classes. Therefore, FFDFS has potential to supplement operational meteorological-based forecasting systems in between the observed meteorological stations and remote parts of the landscape.

  2. Decadal time-scale monitoring of forest fires in Similipal Biosphere Reserve, India using remote sensing and GIS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saranya, K R L; Reddy, C Sudhakar; Rao, P V V Prasada; Jha, C S

    2014-05-01

    Analyzing the spatial extent and distribution of forest fires is essential for sustainable forest resource management. There is no comprehensive data existing on forest fires on a regular basis in Biosphere Reserves of India. The present work have been carried out to locate and estimate the spatial extent of forest burnt areas using Resourcesat-1 data and fire frequency covering decadal fire events (2004-2013) in Similipal Biosphere Reserve. The anomalous quantity of forest burnt area was recorded during 2009 as 1,014.7 km(2). There was inconsistency in the fire susceptibility across the different vegetation types. The spatial analysis of burnt area shows that an area of 34.2 % of dry deciduous forests, followed by tree savannah, shrub savannah, and grasslands affected by fires in 2013. The analysis based on decadal time scale satellite data reveals that an area of 2,175.9 km(2) (59.6 % of total vegetation cover) has been affected by varied rate of frequency of forest fires. Fire density pattern indicates low count of burnt area patches in 2013 estimated at 1,017 and high count at 1,916 in 2004. An estimate of fire risk area over a decade identifies 12.2 km(2) is experiencing an annual fire damage. Summing the fire frequency data across the grids (each 1 km(2)) indicates 1,211 (26 %) grids are having very high disturbance regimes due to repeated fires in all the 10 years, followed by 711 grids in 9 years and 418 in 8 years and 382 in 7 years. The spatial database offers excellent opportunities to understand the ecological impact of fires on biodiversity and is helpful in formulating conservation action plans.

  3. Fire regime in a Mexican forest under indigenous resource management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulé, Peter Z; Ramos-Gómez, Mauro; Cortés-Montaño, Citlali; Miller, Andrew M

    2011-04-01

    The Rarámuri (Tarahumara) people live in the mountains and canyons of the Sierra Madre Occidental of Chihuahua, Mexico. They base their subsistence on multiple-use strategies of their natural resources, including agriculture, pastoralism, and harvesting of native plants and wildlife. Pino Gordo is a Rarámuri settlement in a remote location where the forest has not been commercially logged. We reconstructed the forest fire regime from fire-scarred trees, measured the structure of the never-logged forest, and interviewed community members about fire use. Fire occurrence was consistent throughout the 19th and 20th centuries up to our fire scar collection in 2004. This is the least interrupted surface-fire regime reported to date in North America. Studies from other relict sites such as nature reserves in Mexico or the USA have all shown some recent alterations associated with industrialized society. At Pino Gordo, fires recurred frequently at the three study sites, with a composite mean fire interval of 1.9 years (all fires) to 7.6 years (fires scarring 25% or more of samples). Per-sample fire intervals averaged 10-14 years at the three sites. Approximately two-thirds of fires burned in the season of cambial dormancy, probably during the pre-monsoonal drought. Forests were dominated by pines and contained many large living trees and snags, in contrast to two nearby similar forests that have been logged. Community residents reported using fire for many purposes, consistent with previous literature on fire use by indigenous people. Pino Gordo is a valuable example of a continuing frequent-fire regime in a never-harvested forest. The Rarámuri people have actively conserved this forest through their traditional livelihood and management techniques, as opposed to logging the forest, and have also facilitated the fire regime by burning. The data contribute to a better understanding of the interactions of humans who live in pine forests and the fire regimes of these

  4. Humans, Fires, and Forests - Social science applied to fire management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna J. Cortner; Donald R. Field; Pam Jakes; James D. Buthman

    2003-01-01

    The 2000 and 2002 fire seasons resulted in increased political scrutiny of the nation's wildland fire threats, and given the fact that millions of acres of lands are still at high risk for future catastrophic fire events, the issues highlighted by the recent fire seasons are not likely to go away any time soon. Recognizing the magnitude of the problem, the...

  5. Predicting Potential Fire Severity Using Vegetation, Topography and Surface Moisture Availability in a Eurasian Boreal Forest Landscape

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    Lei Fang

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Severity of wildfires is a critical component of the fire regime and plays an important role in determining forest ecosystem response to fire disturbance. Predicting spatial distribution of potential fire severity can be valuable in guiding fire and fuel management planning. Spatial controls on fire severity patterns have attracted growing interest, but few studies have attempted to predict potential fire severity in fire-prone Eurasian boreal forests. Furthermore, the influences of fire weather variation on spatial heterogeneity of fire severity remain poorly understood at fine scales. We assessed the relative importance and influence of pre-fire vegetation, topography, and surface moisture availability (SMA on fire severity in 21 lightning-ignited fires occurring in two different fire years (3 fires in 2000, 18 fires in 2010 of the Great Xing’an Mountains with an ensemble modeling approach of boosted regression tree (BRT. SMA was derived from 8-day moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS evapotranspiration products. We predicted the potential distribution of fire severity in two fire years and evaluated the prediction accuracies. BRT modeling revealed that vegetation, topography, and SMA explained more than 70% of variations in fire severity (mean 83.0% for 2000, mean 73.8% for 2010. Our analysis showed that evergreen coniferous forests were more likely to experience higher severity fires than the dominant deciduous larch forests of this region, and deciduous broadleaf forests and shrublands usually burned at a significantly lower fire severity. High-severity fires tended to occur in gentle and well-drained slopes at high altitudes, especially those with north-facing aspects. SMA exhibited notable and consistent negative association with severity. Predicted fire severity from our model exhibited strong agreement with the observed fire severity (mean r2 = 0.795 for 2000, 0.618 for 2010. Our results verified that spatial variation

  6. Fire scars and tree vigor following prescribed fires in Missouri Ozark upland forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aaron P. Stevenson; Rose-Marie Muzika; Richard P. Guyette

    2008-01-01

    The goal of our project was to examine basal fire scars caused by prescribed fires and tree vigor in upland forests of the Missouri Ozarks. Fire scar data were collected in 100 plots from black oak (Quercus velutina Lam.), scarlet oak (Q. coccinea Muench.), Shumard oak (Q. shumardii Buckl.), post oak (Q...

  7. Relating fire-caused change in forest structure to remotely sensed estimates of fire severity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamie M. Lydersen; Brandon M. Collins; Jay D. Miller; Danny L. Fry; Scott L. Stephens

    2016-01-01

    Fire severity maps are an important tool for understanding fire effects on a landscape. The relative differenced normalized burn ratio (RdNBR) is a commonly used severity index in California forests, and is typically divided into four categories: unchanged, low, moderate, and high. RdNBR is often calculated twice--from images collected the year of the fire (initial...

  8. Economic vulnerability of timber resources to forest fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francisco Rodriguez y Silva; Juan Ramon Molina; Armando Gonzalez-Caban; Miguel Angel Herrera Machuca

    2012-01-01

    The temporal-spatial planning of activities for a territorial fire management program requires knowing the value of forest ecosystems. In this paper we extend to and apply the economic valuation principle to the concept of economic vulnerability and present a methodology for the economic valuation of the forest production ecosystems. The forest vulnerability is...

  9. Conserving and Restoring Old Growth in Frequent-fire Forests: Cycles of Disruption and Recovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dave Egan

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available I provide a synthesis of the papers in the Special Issue, The Conservation and Restoration of Old Growth in Frequent-fire Forests of the American West. These papers - the product of an Old Growth Writing Workshop, held at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona on 18-19 April 2006 - represent the ideas of 25 workshop participants who argue for a new attitude toward managing old growth in the frequent-fire forests of the American West. Unlike the lush, old-growth rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, the dry, frequent-fire forests of the western United States evolved with surface fires that disturbed the system with such regularity that young trees were almost always killed. When saplings did survive, they grew beyond the harm of frequent surface fires and, ultimately, attained the characteristics that define old growth in these systems. This system worked well, producing old-growth trees in abundance, until the onset of Euro-American settlement in the mid- to late-19th century. The arrival of these settlers put in motion an interplay of unprecedented social, political, economic, and ecological forces (e.g., removal of Native Americans and their fire-based land management systems, overgrazing of the understory, aggressive logging, establishment of federal land management agencies, implementation of a federal fire suppression policy. These activities have culminated in 1 overly dense forested ecosystems that are now on the verge of collapse because of catastrophic fires (i.e., crown fire at the landscape level; the Rodeo-Chediski Fire and insect outbreaks, 2 the emergence of conservation-minded environmental legislation and policy, and 3 greater levels of interaction between citizens, federal agencies, and fire-prone landscapes. Recognizing the tenuous ecological situation of these forests, restoration ecologists, foresters, and others have developed ways to return historic ecological processes and lower tree densities to these forests

  10. METHOD OF FOREST FIRES PROBABILITY ASSESSMENT WITH POISSON LAW

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    A. S. Plotnikova

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The article describes the method for the forest fire burn probability estimation on a base of Poisson distribution. The λ parameter is assumed to be a mean daily number of fires detected for each Forest Fire Danger Index class within specific period of time. Thus, λ was calculated for spring, summer and autumn seasons separately. Multi-annual daily Forest Fire Danger Index values together with EO-derived hot spot map were input data for the statistical analysis. The major result of the study is generation of the database on forest fire burn probability. Results were validated against EO daily data on forest fires detected over Irkutsk oblast in 2013. Daily weighted average probability was shown to be linked with the daily number of detected forest fires. Meanwhile, there was found a number of fires which were developed when estimated probability was low. The possible explanation of this phenomenon was provided.

  11. Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide fluxes from a fire chronosequence in subarctic boreal forests of Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köster, Egle; Köster, Kajar; Berninger, Frank; Aaltonen, Heidi; Zhou, Xuan; Pumpanen, Jukka

    2017-12-01

    Forest fires are one of the most important natural disturbances in boreal forests, and their occurrence and severity are expected to increase as a result of climate warming. A combination of factors induced by fire leads to a thawing of the near-surface permafrost layer in subarctic boreal forest. Earlier studies reported that an increase in the active layer thickness results in higher carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and methane (CH 4 ) emissions. We studied changes in CO 2 , CH 4 and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) fluxes in this study, and the significance of several environmental factors that influence the greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes at three forest sites that last had fires in 2012, 1990 and 1969, and we compared these to a control area that had no fire for at least 100years. The soils in our study acted as sources of CO 2 and N 2 O and sinks for CH 4 . The elapsed time since the last forest fire was the only factor that significantly influenced all studied GHG fluxes. Soil temperature affected the uptake of CH 4 , and the N 2 O fluxes were significantly influenced by nitrogen and carbon content of the soil, and by the active layer depth. Results of our study confirm that the impacts of a forest fire on GHGs last for a rather long period of time in boreal forests, and are influenced by the fire induced changes in the ecosystem. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Variable effects of climate on forest growth in relation to climate extremes, disturbance, and forest dynamics

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    Itter, Malcolm S.; Finley, Andrew O.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Foster, Jane R.; Bradford, John B.

    2017-01-01

    Changes in the frequency, duration, and severity of climate extremes are forecast to occur under global climate change. The impacts of climate extremes on forest productivity and health remain difficult to predict due to potential interactions with disturbance events and forest dynamics—changes in forest stand composition, density, size and age structure over time. Such interactions may lead to non-linear forest growth responses to climate involving thresholds and lag effects. Understanding how forest dynamics influence growth responses to climate is particularly important given stand structure and composition can be modified through management to increase forest resistance and resilience to climate change. To inform such adaptive management, we develop a hierarchical Bayesian state space model in which climate effects on tree growth are allowed to vary over time and in relation to past climate extremes, disturbance events, and forest dynamics. The model is an important step toward integrating disturbance and forest dynamics into predictions of forest growth responses to climate extremes. We apply the model to a dendrochronology data set from forest stands of varying composition, structure, and development stage in northeastern Minnesota that have experienced extreme climate years and forest tent caterpillar defoliation events. Mean forest growth was most sensitive to water balance variables representing climatic water deficit. Forest growth responses to water deficit were partitioned into responses driven by climatic threshold exceedances and interactions with insect defoliation. Forest growth was both resistant and resilient to climate extremes with the majority of forest growth responses occurring after multiple climatic threshold exceedances across seasons and years. Interactions between climate and disturbance were observed in a subset of years with insect defoliation increasing forest growth sensitivity to water availability. Forest growth was particularly

  13. Consequences of climate change for biotic disturbances in North American forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aaron S. Weed; Matthew P. Ayres; Jeffrey A. Hicke

    2013-01-01

    About one-third of North America is forested. These forests are of incalculable value to human society in terms of harvested resources and ecosystem services and are sensitive to disturbance regimes. Epidemics of forest insects and diseases are the dominant sources of disturbance to North American forests. Here we review current understanding of climatic effects...

  14. Potential increases in natural disturbance rates could offset forest management impacts on ecosystem carbon stocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John B. Bradford; Nicholas R. Jensen; Grant M. Domke; Anthony W. D' Amato

    2013-01-01

    Forested ecosystems contain the majority of the world’s terrestrial carbon, and forest management has implications for regional and global carbon cycling. Carbon stored in forests changes with stand age and is affected by natural disturbance and timber harvesting. We examined how harvesting and disturbance interact to influence forest carbon stocks over the Superior...

  15. Satellite data based method for general survey of forest insect disturbance in British Columbia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranson, J.; Montesano, P.

    2008-12-01

    Regional forest disturbances caused by insects are important to monitor and quantify because of their influence on local ecosystems and the global carbon cycle. Local damage to forest trees disrupts food supplies and shelter for a variety of organisms. Changes in the global carbon budget, its sources and its sinks affect the way the earth functions as a whole, and has an impact on global climate. Furthermore, the ability to detect nascent outbreaks and monitor the spread of regional infestations helps managers mitigate the damage done by catastrophic insect outbreaks. While detection is needed at a fine scale to support local mitigation efforts, detection at a broad regional scale is important for carbon flux modeling on the landscape scale, and needed to direct the local efforts. This paper presents a method for routinely detecting insect damage to coniferous forests using MODIS vegetation indices, thermal anomalies and land cover. The technique is validated using insect outbreak maps and accounts for fire disturbance effects. The range of damage detected may be used to interpret and quantify possible forest damage by insects.

  16. Applications of the BIOPHYS Algorithm for Physically-Based Retrieval of Biophysical, Structural and Forest Disturbance Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peddle, Derek R.; Huemmrich, K. Fred; Hall, Forrest G.; Masek, Jeffrey G.; Soenen, Scott A.; Jackson, Chris D.

    2011-01-01

    Canopy reflectance model inversion using look-up table approaches provides powerful and flexible options for deriving improved forest biophysical structural information (BSI) compared with traditional statistical empirical methods. The BIOPHYS algorithm is an improved, physically-based inversion approach for deriving BSI for independent use and validation and for monitoring, inventory and quantifying forest disturbance as well as input to ecosystem, climate and carbon models. Based on the multiple-forward mode (MFM) inversion approach, BIOPHYS results were summarized from different studies (Minnesota/NASA COVER; Virginia/LEDAPS; Saskatchewan/BOREAS), sensors (airborne MMR; Landsat; MODIS) and models (GeoSail; GOMS). Applications output included forest density, height, crown dimension, branch and green leaf area, canopy cover, disturbance estimates based on multi-temporal chronosequences, and structural change following recovery from forest fires over the last century. Good correspondences with validation field data were obtained. Integrated analyses of multiple solar and view angle imagery further improved retrievals compared with single pass data. Quantifying ecosystem dynamics such as the area and percent of forest disturbance, early regrowth and succession provide essential inputs to process-driven models of carbon flux. BIOPHYS is well suited for large-area, multi-temporal applications involving multiple image sets and mosaics for assessing vegetation disturbance and quantifying biophysical structural dynamics and change. It is also suitable for integration with forest inventory, monitoring, updating, and other programs.

  17. Complex mountain terrain and disturbance history drive variation in forest aboveground live carbon density in the western Oregon Cascades, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zald, Harold S.J.; Spies, Thomas A.; Seidl, Rupert; Pabst, Robert J.; Olsen, Keith A.; Steel, E. Ashley

    2016-01-01

    Forest carbon (C) density varies tremendously across space due to the inherent heterogeneity of forest ecosystems. Variation of forest C density is especially pronounced in mountainous terrain, where environmental gradients are compressed and vary at multiple spatial scales. Additionally, the influence of environmental gradients may vary with forest age and developmental stage, an important consideration as forest landscapes often have a diversity of stand ages from past management and other disturbance agents. Quantifying forest C density and its underlying environmental determinants in mountain terrain has remained challenging because many available data sources lack the spatial grain and ecological resolution needed at both stand and landscape scales. The objective of this study was to determine if environmental factors influencing aboveground live carbon (ALC) density differed between young versus old forests. We integrated aerial light detection and ranging (lidar) data with 702 field plots to map forest ALC density at a grain of 25 m across the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, a 6369 ha watershed in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, USA. We used linear regressions, random forest ensemble learning (RF) and sequential autoregressive modeling (SAR) to reveal how mapped forest ALC density was related to climate, topography, soils, and past disturbance history (timber harvesting and wildfires). ALC increased with stand age in young managed forests, with much greater variation of ALC in relation to years since wildfire in old unmanaged forests. Timber harvesting was the most important driver of ALC across the entire watershed, despite occurring on only 23% of the landscape. More variation in forest ALC density was explained in models of young managed forests than in models of old unmanaged forests. Besides stand age, ALC density in young managed forests was driven by factors influencing site productivity, whereas variation in ALC density in old unmanaged forests

  18. Evaluating the impact of climate on forest vulnerability to fires

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Živanović Stanimir

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The assessment of the threat of forest fires usually includes identification of factors and quantification of risk levels. This work presents an approach to modeling the risk of forest fires caused by climate impacts. Climate Impact Assessment is based on the significance of air temperature, rainfall and relative air humidity. The analysis is based on the meteorological data obtained from 26 meteorological stations in Serbia for the period from 1981 to 2010. The analysis is used to predict the areas where the expected rate of fire is high. The method is simple; it describes the key variables for the risk under climate impacts and the spatial pattern of risk. It is suitable for operational use by authorized services. The risk of forest fire is classified as negligible, small, medium and large. The database and analysis results were used to build the matrix of risk assessment of forest fires in Serbia. A great part of the territory of Serbia is relatively highly sensitive to forest fires. The lowest consequences of climate impacts are visible in the areas of Kopaonik and Zlatibor. In Serbia, there is no place where there is a negligible risk of fire. Further research, especially in terms of the relationship between climate change and the adaptive capacity of existing forest ecosystems, species and existing genotypes, is urgently needed in Serbia.

  19. A heuristic expert system for forest fire guidance in Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iliadis, Lazaros S; Papastavrou, Anastasios K; Lefakis, Panagiotis D

    2002-07-01

    Forests and forestlands are common inheritance for all Greeks and a piece of the national wealth that must be handed over to the next generations in the best possible condition. After 1974, Greece faces a severe forest fire problem and forest fire forecasting is the process that will enable the Greek ministry of Agriculture to reduce the destruction. This paper describes the basic design principles of an Expert System that performs forest fire forecasting (for the following fire season) and classification of the prefectures of Greece into forest fire risk zones. The Expert system handles uncertainty and uses heuristics in order to produce scenarios based on the presence or absence of various qualitative factors. The initial research focused on the construction of a mathematical model which attempted to describe the annual number of forest fires and burnt area in Greece based on historical data. However this has proven to be impossible using regression analysis and time series. A closer analysis of the fire data revealed that two qualitative factors dramatically affect the number of forest fires and the hectares of burnt areas annually. The first is political stability and national elections and the other is drought cycles. Heuristics were constructed that use political stability and drought cycles, to provide forest fire guidance. Fuzzy logic was applied to produce a fuzzy expected interval for each prefecture of Greece. A fuzzy expected interval is a narrow interval of values that best describes the situation in the country or a part of the country for a certain time period. A successful classification of the prefectures of Greece in forest fire risk zones was done by the system, by comparing the fuzzy expected intervals to each other. The system was tested for the years 1994 and 1995. The testing has clearly shown that the system can predict accurately, the number of forest fires for each prefecture for the following year. The average accuracy was as high as 85

  20. Examining fire-induced forest changes using novel remote sensing technique: a case study in a mixed pine-oak forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, R.; Wu, J.; Zhao, F. R.; Cook, B.; Hanavan, R. P.; Serbin, S.

    2017-12-01

    Fire-induced forest changes has long been a central focus for forest ecology and global carbon cycling studies, and is becoming a pressing issue for global change biologists particularly with the projected increases in the frequency and intensity of fire with a warmer and drier climate. Compared with time-consuming and labor intensive field-based approaches, remote sensing offers a promising way to efficiently assess fire effects and monitor post-fire forest responses across a range of spatial and temporal scales. However, traditional remote sensing studies relying on simple optical spectral indices or coarse resolution imagery still face a number of technical challenges, including confusion or contamination of the signal by understory dynamics and mixed pixels with moderate to coarse resolution data (>= 30 m). As such, traditional remote sensing may not meet the increasing demand for more ecologically-meaningful monitoring and quantitation of fire-induced forest changes. Here we examined the use of novel remote sensing technique (i.e. airborne imaging spectroscopy and LiDAR measurement, very high spatial resolution (VHR) space-borne multi-spectral measurement, and high temporal-spatial resolution UAS-based (Unmanned Aerial System) imagery), in combination with field and phenocam measurements to map forest burn severity across spatial scales, quantify crown-scale post-fire forest recovery rate, and track fire-induced phenology changes in the burned areas. We focused on a mixed pine-oak forest undergoing multiple fire disturbances for the past several years in Long Island, NY as a case study. We demonstrate that (1) forest burn severity mapping from VHR remote sensing measurement can capture crown-scale heterogeneous fire patterns over large-scale; (2) the combination of VHR optical and structural measurements provides an efficient means to remotely sense species-level post-fire forest responses; (3) the UAS-based remote sensing enables monitoring of fire

  1. Fire in the forest: The air quality dilemma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Core, J.E.

    1992-01-01

    Fire has long been an important tool of forest land managers. Air regulators responsible for assuring that the provisions of the Clean Air Act are met, see smoke from forest land burning as just another source of air pollution. From an air quality standpoint, pollutants released by forestry burning practices are no different than those emitted from other sources since smoke is smoke, regardless of whether it comes from a woodstove, a wood products industry stack, agricultural burning, or forestry land management. This paper discusses the dilemma that air quality and forest land managers face when balancing air quality protection with the role of fire in the forest

  2. Tree diversity, composition, forest structure and aboveground biomass dynamics after single and repeated fire in a Bornean rain forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slik, J.W.F.; Bernard, C.S.; Beek, van M.; Breman, F.C.; Eichhorn, K.A.O.

    2008-01-01

    Forest fires remain a devastating phenomenon in the tropics that not only affect forest structure and biodiversity, but also contribute significantly to atmospheric CO2. Fire used to be extremely rare in tropical forests, leaving ample time for forests to regenerate to pre-fire conditions. In recent

  3. Forest Fire Management: A Comprehensive And Operational Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabrizi, Roberto; Perez, Bruno; Gomez, Antonio

    2013-12-01

    Remote sensing plays an important role in obtaining rapid and complete information on the occurrence and evolution in space and time of forest fires. In this paper, we present a comprehensive study of fire events through Earth Observation data for early warning, crisis monitoring and post-event damage assessment or a synthesis of the fire event, both in a wide spatial range (local to regional) and temporal scale (short to long term). The fire products are stored and distributed by means of a WebGIS and a Geoportal with additional auxiliary geospatial data. These products allow fire managers to perform analysis and decision making in a more comprehensive manner.

  4. Bat Response to Differing Fire Severity in Mixed-Conifer Forest California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heady, Paul A.; Hayes, John P.; Frick, Winifred F.

    2013-01-01

    Wildlife response to natural disturbances such as fire is of conservation concern to managers, policy makers, and scientists, yet information is scant beyond a few well-studied groups (e.g., birds, small mammals). We examined the effects of wildfire severity on bats, a taxon of high conservation concern, at both the stand (Bat activity in burned areas was either equivalent or higher than in unburned stands for all six phonic groups measured, with four groups having significantly greater activity in at least one burn severity level. Evidence of differentiation between fire severities was observed with some Myotis species having higher levels of activity in stands of high-severity burn. Larger-bodied bats, typically adapted to more open habitat, showed no response to fire. We found differential use of riparian and upland habitats among the phonic groups, yet no interaction of habitat type by fire severity was found. Extent of high-severity fire damage in the landscape had no effect on activity of bats in unburned sites suggesting no landscape effect of fire on foraging site selection and emphasizing stand-scale conditions driving bat activity. Results from this fire in mixed-conifer forests of California suggest that bats are resilient to landscape-scale fire and that some species are preferentially selecting burned areas for foraging, perhaps facilitated by reduced clutter and increased post-fire availability of prey and roosts. PMID:23483936

  5. Mid-term successional patterns after fire of mixed pine oak forests in NE Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gracia, Marc; Retana, Javier; Roig, Pere

    2002-12-01

    This study analyzes the factors affecting the current variability in density and age and size structure of mixed pine-oak forests of Pinus nigra and Quercus faginea in Central Catalonia (NE Spain), 37 years after a wildfire. The objective is to determine whether different post-disturbance responses may be obtained from the same pre-fire community and which factors can determine these different potential responses. The two factors analyzed were the distance to the unburned forest and site conditions (represented in this case by different aspects). The response of pines and oaks was different to the pattern expected for the Mediterranean Basin. Oaks resprouted immediately from stools already present before the fire and dominated during the first years, independent of both disturbance and site conditions. Pines established later, and their response depended on both factors: pine density decreased sharply from the forest edge to the burned area, and the number of pines was also higher in the more mesic than in the more xeric conditions. The age structure analysis for pines and oaks in the different aspects also revealed site-dependent rates of succession manifested by initial differences in post-fire establishment. In mesic plots, the establishment of pines occurred quite early, while in xeric plots, pine recruitment was delayed several years. These different patterns of post-fire recovery have led to pine dominance in more mesic sites and codominance of pines and oaks in more xeric ones, suggesting that different mid-term post-fire patterns can be identified for the same pre-fire forest type, depending on variations in environmental conditions.

  6. RLC Forest Fire Images in Russia, 1998-1999

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ABSTRACT: This data set is made up of images of forest fires in Russia from NOAA's Operational Significant Event Imagery (OSEI) archive (http://www.osei.noaa.gov)...

  7. RLC Forest Fire Images in Russia, 1998-1999

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set is made up of images of forest fires in Russia from NOAA's Operational Significant Event Imagery (OSEI) archive (http://www.osei.noaa.gov) for the 1998...

  8. Fire in eastern oak forests: delivering science to land managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew B., ed. Dickinson

    2006-01-01

    Contains 20 papers and 36 poster abstracts presented at a conference on fire in oak forests of the Eastern United States that was held at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, on November 15-17, 2005.

  9. A Global Perspective on Warmer Droughts as a Key Driver of Forest Disturbances and Tree Mortality (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, C. D.

    2013-12-01

    Recent global warming, in concert with episodic droughts, is causing elevated levels of both chronic and acute forest water stress across large regions. Such increases in water stress affect forest dynamics in multiple ways, including by amplifying the incidence and severity of many significant forest disturbances, particularly drought-induced tree mortality, wildfire, and outbreaks of damaging insects and diseases. Emerging global-scale patterns of drought-related forest die-off are presented, including a newly updated map overview of documented drought- and heat-induced tree mortality events from around the world, demonstrating the vulnerability of all major forest types to forest drought stress, even in typically wet environments. Comparative patterns of drought stress and associated forest disturbances are reviewed for several regions (southwestern Australia, Inner Asia, western North America, Mediterranean Basin), including interactions among climate and various disturbance processes. From the Southwest USA, research is presented that derives a tree-ring-based Forest Drought Stress Index (FDSI) for the most regionally-widespread conifer species (Pinus edulis, Pinus ponderosa, and Pseudotsuga menziesii), demonstrating recent escalation of FDSI to extreme levels relative to the past 1000 years, due to both drought and especially warming. This new work further highlights strong correlations between drought stress and amplified forest disturbances (fire, bark beetle outbreaks), and projects that by CE 2050 anticipated regional warming will cause mean FDSI values to reach historically unprecedented levels that may exceed thresholds for the survival of current tree species in large portions of their current range in the Southwest. Similar patterns of recent climate-amplified forest disturbance risk are apparent from a variety of relatively dry regions across this planet, and given climate projections for substantially warmer temperatures and greater drought stress

  10. Forest fires are a risk factor for plant species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Živanović Stanimir

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The growth, development and the prevalence area of plant species are determined by a variety of influences. Plants are increasingly exposed to the different stress factors. Fires in nature can completely destroy the whole forest complex habitats with great biological diversity of many species in a short period of time. This study deals with the effects of a fire, such as heat, to the plants. After the fire, the environment is being changed and some species in areas affected by the fire will appear only after the fire, some species that had existed before the fire, will be developed in accordance with the new conditions, and some species will disappear after the fire. The aim of the study was to assess the sustainability of the natural vegetation in fire conditions, which is important for natural regeneration and nursery production. Fire temperatures cause irreparable damage of the plant functions or of the plant organs. In the analysis of the plant species the frequency of the fire is often more important than the type and intensity of the fire. Regarding possible long fire season in Serbia, as well as the presented statistics data about the number of fires and burnt areas, it can be concluded that there is an evident risk of plant species of fire, which are more common in this region.

  11. Fire disturbance effects on land surface albedo in Alaskan tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Nancy H. F.; Whitley, Matthew A.; Jenkins, Liza K.

    2016-03-01

    The study uses satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer albedo products (MCD43A3) to assess changes in albedo at two sites in the treeless tundra region of Alaska, both within the foothills region of the Brooks Range, the 2007 Anaktuvuk River Fire (ARF) and 2012 Kucher Creek Fire (KCF). Results are compared to each other and other studies to assess the magnitude of albedo change and the longevity of impact of fire on land surface albedo. In both sites there was a marked decrease of albedo in the year following the fire. In the ARF, albedo slowly increased until 4 years after the fire, when it returned to albedo values prior to the fire. For the year immediately after the fire, a threefold difference in the shortwave albedo decrease was found between the two sites. ARF showed a 45.3% decrease, while the KCF showed a 14.1% decrease in shortwave albedo, and albedo is more variable in the KCF site than ARF site 1 year after the fire. These differences are possibly the result of differences in burn severity of the two fires, wherein the ARF burned more completely with more contiguous patches of complete burn than KCF. The impact of fire on average growing season (April-September) surface shortwave forcing in the year following fire is estimated to be 13.24 ± 6.52 W m-2 at the ARF site, a forcing comparable to studies in other treeless ecosystems. Comparison to boreal studies and the implications to energy flux are discussed in the context of future increases in fire occurrence and severity in a warming climate.

  12. Burn Severity Dominates Understory Plant Community Response to Fire in Xeric Jack Pine Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley D. Pinno

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Fire is the most common disturbance in northern boreal forests, and large fires are often associated with highly variable burn severities across the burnt area. We studied the understory plant community response to a range of burn severities and pre-fire stand age four growing seasons after the 2011 Richardson Fire in xeric jack pine forests of northern Alberta, Canada. Burn severity had the greatest impact on post-fire plant communities, while pre-fire stand age did not have a significant impact. Total plant species richness and cover decreased with disturbance severity, such that the greatest richness was in low severity burns (average 28 species per 1-m2 quadrat and plant cover was lowest in the high severity burns (average 16%. However, the response of individual plant groups differed. Lichens and bryophytes were most common in low severity burns and were effectively eliminated from the regenerating plant community at higher burn severities. In contrast, graminoid cover and richness were positively related to burn severity, while forbs did not respond significantly to burn severity, but were impacted by changes in soil chemistry with increased cover at pH >4.9. Our results indicate the importance of non-vascular plants to the overall plant community in this harsh environment and that the plant community is environmentally limited rather than recruitment or competition limited, as is often the case in more mesic forest types. If fire frequency and severity increase as predicted, we may see a shift in plant communities from stress-tolerant species, such as lichens and ericaceous shrubs, to more colonizing species, such as certain graminoids.

  13. Contribution of climate and fires to vegetation composition in the boreal forest of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venevsky, S.; Wu, C.; Sitch, S.

    2017-12-01

    Climate is well known as an important determinant of biogeography. Although climate is directly important for vegetation composition in the boreal forests, these ecosystems are strongly sensitive to an indirect effect of climate via fire disturbance. However, the driving balance of fire disturbance and climate on composition is poorly understood. In this study we quantitatively analyzed their individual contributions for the boreal forests of the Heilongjiang province, China and their response to climate change using four warming scenarios (+1.5, 2, 3, and 4°C). This study employs the statistical methods of Redundancy Analysis (RDA) and variation partitioning combined with simulation results from a Dynamic Global Vegetation Model, SEVER-DGVM, and remote sensing datasets of global land cover (GLC2000) and the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED3). Results show that the vegetation distribution for the present day is mainly determined directly by climate (35%) rather than fire (1%-10.9%). However, with a future global warming of 1.5°C, local vegetation composition will be determined by fires rather than climate (36.3% > 29.3%). Above a 1.5°C warming, temperature will be more important than fires in regulating vegetation distribution although other factors like precipitation can also contribute. The spatial pattern in vegetation composition over the region, as evaluated by Moran's Eigenvector Map (MEM), has a significant impact on local vegetation coverage, i.e. composition at any individual location is highly related to that in its neighborhood. It represents the largest contribution to vegetation distribution in all scenarios, but will not change the driving balance between climate and fires. Our results are highly relevant for forest and wildfires' management.

  14. Carbon and Nitrogen Levels across Forest Soil Communities Impacted by Bark Beetle and Wildfire Disturbance in Western Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, E. S. M.; Ballantyne, A. P.; Cooper, L. A.; Hursh, A.

    2014-12-01

    Global climate change has had extensive impacts on the forest ecosystems of the western US, namely by causing increases in mountain pine beetle numbers and wildfires. Mountain pine beetles experience higher survival rates due to milder winters, allowing for greater frequency and severity of attacks and in turn causing more widespread pine tree mortality. Meanwhile, the arid conditions created by this temperature increase have been conducive to a surge in wildfires. Although many investigations have been carried out on the soil biogeochemistry in areas hit by one or the other, no study to our knowledge has explicitly researched the compound effects of these disturbances. This study examined soil levels of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) as well as the C/N ratios of pine and fir soil communities that have been affected by both beetle and fire disturbance. Our results show that no significant differences were found in the C/N ratios in response to all modes of disturbance. However, significant C losses from the O horizon, but not the M horizon, were observed following wildfire. Similarly, losses in N from just the O horizon were observed, but these were not significant. In conclusion, fire resulted in marked declines in soil C, and forests impacted by beetle infestation and fire experienced C losses similar to fire alone.

  15. Main dynamics and drivers of boreal forests fire regimes during the Holocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinari, Chiara; Lehsten, Veiko; Blarquez, Olivier; Clear, Jennifer; Carcaillet, Christopher; Bradshaw, Richard HW

    2015-04-01

    continents. Balshi MS, McGuire AD, Zhuang Q et al. (2007) The role of historical fire disturbance in the carbon dynamics of the pan-boreal region: A process-based analysis. J. Geophys. Res. 112:G2. Bond-Lamberty B, Peckham SD, Ahl DE et al. (2007) Fire as the dominant driver of central Canadian boreal forest carbon balance. Nature 450: 89-92. Hu FS, Brubaker LB, Gavin DG et al. (2006) How climate and vegetation influence the fire regime of the Alaskan boreal biome: the Holocene perspective. Mitigation Adapt. Strateg. Glob. Chang. 11: 829-846. Johnstone JF, Chapin III FS, Foote J et al. (2004) Decadal observations of tree regeneration following fire in boreal forests. Can. J. For. Res. 34: 267-273. Kasischke ES & Stocks BJ (2000) Fire, Climate Change and Carbon Cycling in the Boreal Forest. Ecological Studies 138, Springer-Verlag, New York. Kelly RF, Chipman ML, Higuera PE et al. (2013) Recent burning of boreal forests exceeds fire regime limits of the past 10,000 years. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 110: 13055-13060. Soja AJ, Tchebakova NM, French NHF et al. (2007) Climate-induced boreal forest change: predictions versus current observations. Glob. Planet. Chang. 56: 274-296.

  16. Influence of Forest Disturbance on Hydrologic Extremes in the Colorado River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, K. E.; Middleton, R. S.; McDowell, N. G.; Xu, C.; Wilson, C. J.

    2015-12-01

    The Colorado River is one of the most important freshwater rivers in the United States: it provides water supply to more than 30 million people, irrigation to 5.7 million acres of cropland, and produces over 8 billion kilowatt hours of hydroelectric power each year. Our study focuses on changes to hydrological extremes and threshold responses across the Colorado River basin due to forest fires, infestations, and stress-induced tree mortality using a scenario-based approach to estimate forest cover disturbance. Scenarios include static vegetation reductions and dynamic reductions in forest compositions based on three CMIP5 global climate models and one emission scenario (1950-2099). For headwater systems, large intra-year variability exists, indicating the influence of climate on these snowmelt driven basins. Strong seasonality in flow responses are also noted; in the Piedra River higher runoff occurs during freshet under a no-forest condition, with the greatest changes observed for maximum streamflow. Conversely, during the recessional period, flows are lower in scenarios with reduced forest compositions. Low-flows appear to be affected in some basins but not others; for example small headwater systems demonstrate higher low-flows with increased disturbance. Global Climate Model scenarios indicate a range of responses in these basins, characterized by lower peak streamflow but with higher winter flows. This response is influenced by shifts in water, and energy balances associated with a combined response of changing climate and forest cover compositions. Results also clearly show how changes in extreme events are forced by shifts in major water balance parameters (runoff, evapotranspiration, snow water equivalent, and soil moisture) from headwater basins spanning a range of hydrological regimes and ecological environments across the Colorado.

  17. Repeated experimental fires and window of disturbance in relation to runoff in a Mediterranean shrubland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Gimeno-García

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available This study is focused on exploring the effect of repeated experimental fires on post-fire runoff generation through a sixteen years monitoring runoff yield from erosion plots (eight years after the first fire and other eight years after the second one in a Mediterranean shrubland area (La Concordia Experimental Station, considering the fire severity and the post-fire erosive rainfall events. The conceptual framework of the window of disturbance is used to analyze how long the runoff yield in burned plots shows clear differences respect to the unburned ones, as well as, the recovery-rate model for multiple fire events. Results show that the effect of repeated fires on runoff yield is related to a combination of fire severity, climatic conditions (mainly rainfall intensity, I30, soil hydrological properties (infiltration capacity, steady state infiltration and soil water retention capacity, and rate of vegetation recovery. Eight years after the first fire, even though soil hydrological properties are recovered as well as vegetation cover did, rainfall events with I30 ≥20 mm h-1 still promoted differences between burned and control plots. The second post-fire disturbance period was associated with the low vegetation recovery, and also with rainfall events with I30 ≥20 mm h-1 even seven years after the repeated fires.

  18. Modelling Variable Fire Severity in Boreal Forests: Effects of Fire Intensity and Stand Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miquelajauregui, Yosune; Cumming, Steven G; Gauthier, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    It is becoming clear that fires in boreal forests are not uniformly stand-replacing. On the contrary, marked variation in fire severity, measured as tree mortality, has been found both within and among individual fires. It is important to understand the conditions under which this variation can arise. We integrated forest sample plot data, tree allometries and historical forest fire records within a diameter class-structured model of 1.0 ha patches of mono-specific black spruce and jack pine stands in northern Québec, Canada. The model accounts for crown fire initiation and vertical spread into the canopy. It uses empirical relations between fire intensity, scorch height, the percent of crown scorched and tree mortality to simulate fire severity, specifically the percent reduction in patch basal area due to fire-caused mortality. A random forest and a regression tree analysis of a large random sample of simulated fires were used to test for an effect of fireline intensity, stand structure, species composition and pyrogeographic regions on resultant severity. Severity increased with intensity and was lower for jack pine stands. The proportion of simulated fires that burned at high severity (e.g. >75% reduction in patch basal area) was 0.80 for black spruce and 0.11 for jack pine. We identified thresholds in intensity below which there was a marked sensitivity of simulated fire severity to stand structure, and to interactions between intensity and structure. We found no evidence for a residual effect of pyrogeographic region on simulated severity, after the effects of stand structure and species composition were accounted for. The model presented here was able to produce variation in fire severity under a range of fire intensity conditions. This suggests that variation in stand structure is one of the factors causing the observed variation in boreal fire severity.

  19. Impacts of fire on non-native plant recruitment in black spruce forests of interior Alaska.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xanthe J Walker

    Full Text Available Climate change is expected to increase the extent and severity of wildfires throughout the boreal forest. Historically, black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill. B.S.P. forests in interior Alaska have been relatively free of non-native species, but the compounding effects of climate change and an altered fire regime could facilitate the expansion of non-native plants. We tested the effects of wildfire on non-native plant colonization by conducting a seeding experiment of non-native plants on different substrate types in a burned black spruce forest, and surveying for non-native plants in recently burned and mature black spruce forests. We found few non-native plants in burned or mature forests, despite their high roadside presence, although invasion of some burned sites by dandelion (Taraxacum officinale indicated the potential for non-native plants to move into burned forest. Experimental germination rates were significantly higher on mineral soil compared to organic soil, indicating that severe fires that combust much of the organic layer could increase the potential for non-native plant colonization. We conclude that fire disturbances that remove the organic layer could facilitate the invasion of non-native plants providing there is a viable seed source and dispersal vector.

  20. GIS-BASED MULTI-CRITERIA DECISION ANALYSIS FOR FOREST FIRE RISK MAPPING

    OpenAIRE

    A. E. Akay; A. Erdoğan

    2017-01-01

    The forested areas along the coastal zone of the Mediterranean region in Turkey are classified as first-degree fire sensitive areas. Forest fires are major environmental disaster that affects the sustainability of forest ecosystems. Besides, forest fires result in important economic losses and even threaten human lives. Thus, it is critical to determine the forested areas with fire risks and thereby minimize the damages on forest resources by taking necessary precaution measures in these area...

  1. Impact of forest fires on particulate matter and ozone levels during the 2003, 2004 and 2005 fire seasons in Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, V; Miranda, A I; Carvalho, A; Schaap, M; Borrego, C; Sá, E

    2012-01-01

    The main purpose of this work is to estimate the impact of forest fires on air pollution applying the LOTOS-EUROS air quality modeling system in Portugal for three consecutive years, 2003-2005. Forest fire emissions have been included in the modeling system through the development of a numerical module, which takes into account the most suitable parameters for Portuguese forest fire characteristics and the burnt area by large forest fires. To better evaluate the influence of forest fires on air quality the LOTOS-EUROS system has been applied with and without forest fire emissions. Hourly concentration results have been compared to measure data at several monitoring locations with better modeling quality parameters when forest fire emissions were considered. Moreover, hourly estimates, with and without fire emissions, can reach differences in the order of 20%, showing the importance and the influence of this type of emissions on air quality. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Factors Affecting Source-Water Quality after Disturbance of Forests by Wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, S. F.; Martin, D. A.; McCleskey, R. B.; Writer, J. H.

    2015-12-01

    Forests yield high-quality water supplies to communities throughout the world, in part because forest cover reduces flooding and the consequent transport of suspended and dissolved constituents to surface water. Disturbance by wildfire reduces or eliminates forest cover, leaving watersheds susceptible to increased surface runoff during storms and reduced ability to retain contaminants. We assessed water-quality response to hydrologic events for three years after a wildfire in the Fourmile Creek Watershed, near Boulder, Colorado, and found that hydrologic and geochemical responses downstream of a burned area were primarily driven by small, brief convective storms that had relatively high, but not unusual, rainfall intensity. Total suspended sediment, dissolved organic carbon, nitrate, and manganese concentrations were 10-156 times higher downstream of a burned area compared to upstream, and water quality was sufficiently impaired to pose water-treatment concerns. The response in both concentration and yield of water-quality constituents differed depending on source availability and dominant watershed processes controlling the constituent. For example, while all constituent concentrations were highest during storm events, annual sediment yields downstream of the burned area were controlled by storm events and subsequent mobilization, whereas dissolved organic carbon yields were more dependent on spring runoff from upstream areas. The watershed response was affected by a legacy of historical disturbance: the watershed had been recovering from extensive disturbance by mining, railroad and road development, logging, and fires in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and we observed extensive erosion of mine waste in response to these summer storms. Therefore, both storm characteristics and historical disturbance in a burned watershed must be considered when evaluating the role of wildfire on water quality.

  3. Vegetation cover and species richness after recurrent forest fires in the Eastern Mediterranean ecosystem of Mount Carmel, Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tessler, Naama; Wittenberg, Lea; Greenbaum, Noam

    2016-12-01

    Fire is a common disturbance in Mediterranean ecosystems, and can have a destructive, influential, and even essential, effect on vegetation and wildlife. In recent decades there has been a general increase in the number of fires in the Mediterranean Basin, including in Mount Carmel, Israel. The effects of recurrent forest fires on vegetation cover and species richness were determined in the spring of 2009 and 2010 by field surveys. The results of this study showed that the vegetation cover changes after recurrent forest fires, and can serve as a good indicator of the influence of fire and the resulting ecosystem rehabilitation. The dominant cover in most fire-damaged areas was composed of shrubs and dwarf-shrubs, especially Cistus salviifolius and Calicotome villosa. Tree cover was severely damaged after recurrent fires, and in those areas there was a drastic decrease of the total plant cover. Species richness increased mainly in the first decade after the recurrent fires, and decreased when the forest canopy began to close. Fire recurrence with short intervals (4-6years) between fires may lower the rehabilitated processes of the ecosystem and change its equilibrium. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Characterization of biomass burning aerosols from forest fire in Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Y.; Iriana, W.; Okumura, M.; Lestari, P.; Tohno, S.; Akira, M.; Okuda, T.

    2012-12-01

    Biomass burning (forest fire, wild fire) is a major source of pollutants, generating an estimate of 104 Tg per year of aerosol particles worldwide. These particles have adverse human health effects and can affect the radiation budget and climate directly and indirectly. Eighty percent of biomass burning aerosols are generated in the tropics and about thirty percent of them originate in the tropical regions of Asia (Andreae, 1991). Several recent studies have reported on the organic compositions of biomass burning aerosols in the tropical regions of South America and Africa, however, there is little data about forest fire aerosols in the tropical regions of Asia. It is important to characterize biomass burning aerosols in the tropical regions of Asia because the aerosol properties vary between fires depending on type and moisture of wood, combustion phase, wind conditions, and several other variables (Reid et al., 2005). We have characterized PM2.5 fractions of biomass burning aerosols emitted from forest fire in Indonesia. During the dry season in 2012, PM2.5 aerosols from several forest fires occurring in Riau, Sumatra, Indonesia were collected on quartz and teflon filters with two mini-volume samplers. Background aerosols in forest were sampled during transition period of rainy season to dry season (baseline period). Samples were analyzed with several analytical instruments. The carbonaceous content (organic and elemental carbon, OC and EC) of the aerosols was analyzed by a thermal optical reflectance technique using IMPROVE protocol. The metal, inorganic ion and organic components of the aerosols were analyzed by X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), ion chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, respectively. There was a great difference of chemical composition between forest fire and non-forest fire samples. Smoke aerosols for forest fires events were composed of ~ 45 % OC and ~ 2.5 % EC. On the other hand, background aerosols for baseline periods were

  5. Assessing anthropogenic and natural disturbances: forest response to similarly aged clearcut and tornado disturbances in an east Tennessee oak-hickory forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonathan C. McGrath; Wayne K. Clatterbuck

    2013-01-01

    In February of 1993, an F3 tornado caused a large-scale disturbance in an east Tennessee oak-hickory (Quercus spp.-Carya spp.) forest. Vegetation response to anthropogenic and natural disturbances was compared by examining two tornado-disturbed areas and five adjacent 1-acre silvicultural clearcut areas unaffected by the tornado...

  6. Forest fire forecasting tool for air quality modelling systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    San Jose, R.; Perez, J.L.; Perez, L.; Gonzalez, R.M.; Pecci, J.; Palacios, M.

    2015-07-01

    Adverse effects of smoke on air quality are of great concern; however, even today the estimates of atmospheric fire emissions are a key issue. It is necessary to implement systems for predicting smoke into an air quality modelling system, and in this work a first attempt towards creating a system of this type is presented. Wildland fire spread and behavior are complex Phenomena due to both the number of involved physic-chemical factors, and the nonlinear relationship between variables. WRF-Fire was employed to simulate spread and behavior of some real fires occurred in South-East of Spain and North of Portugal. The use of fire behavior models requires the availability of high resolution environmental and fuel data. A new custom fuel moisture content model has been developed. The new module allows each time step to calculate the fuel moisture content of the dead fuels and live fuels. The results confirm that the use of accurate meteorological data and a custom fuel moisture content model is crucial to obtain precise simulations of fire behavior. To simulate air pollution over Europe, we use the regional meteorological-chemistry transport model WRF-Chem. In this contribution, we show the impact of using two different fire emissions inventories (FINN and IS4FIRES) and how the coupled WRF-FireChem model improves the results of the forest fire emissions and smoke concentrations. The impact of the forest fire emissions on concentrations is evident, and it is quite clear from these simulations that the choice of emission inventory is very important. We conclude that using the WRF-fire behavior model produces better results than using forest fire emission inventories although the requested computational power is much higher. (Author)

  7. Forest fire forecasting tool for air quality modelling systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    San Jose, R.; Perez, J.L.; Perez, L.; Gonzalez, R.M.; Pecci, J.; Palacios, M.

    2015-01-01

    Adverse effects of smoke on air quality are of great concern; however, even today the estimates of atmospheric fire emissions are a key issue. It is necessary to implement systems for predicting smoke into an air quality modelling system, and in this work a first attempt towards creating a system of this type is presented. Wildland fire spread and behavior are complex Phenomena due to both the number of involved physic-chemical factors, and the nonlinear relationship between variables. WRF-Fire was employed to simulate spread and behavior of some real fires occurred in South-East of Spain and North of Portugal. The use of fire behavior models requires the availability of high resolution environmental and fuel data. A new custom fuel moisture content model has been developed. The new module allows each time step to calculate the fuel moisture content of the dead fuels and live fuels. The results confirm that the use of accurate meteorological data and a custom fuel moisture content model is crucial to obtain precise simulations of fire behavior. To simulate air pollution over Europe, we use the regional meteorological-chemistry transport model WRF-Chem. In this contribution, we show the impact of using two different fire emissions inventories (FINN and IS4FIRES) and how the coupled WRF-FireChem model improves the results of the forest fire emissions and smoke concentrations. The impact of the forest fire emissions on concentrations is evident, and it is quite clear from these simulations that the choice of emission inventory is very important. We conclude that using the WRF-fire behavior model produces better results than using forest fire emission inventories although the requested computational power is much higher. (Author)

  8. Forest fire forecasting tool for air quality modelling systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    San Jose, R.; Perez, J. L.; Perez, L.; Gonzalez, R. M.; Pecci, J.; Palacios, M.

    2015-01-01

    Adverse effects of smoke on air quality are of great concern; however, even today the estimates of atmospheric fire emissions are a key issue. It is necessary to implement systems for predicting smoke into an air quality modelling system, and in this work a first attempt towards creating a system of this type is presented. Wild land fire spread and behavior are complex phenomena due to both the number of involved physic-chemical factors, and the nonlinear relationship between variables. WRF-Fire was employed to simulate spread and behavior of some real fires occurred in South-East of Spain and North of Portugal. The use of fire behavior models requires the availability of high resolution environmental and fuel data. A new custom fuel moisture content model has been developed. The new module allows each time step to calculate the fuel moisture content of the dead fuels and live fuels. The results confirm that the use of accurate meteorological data and a custom fuel moisture content model is crucial to obtain precise simulations of fire behavior. To simulate air pollution over Europe, we use the regional meteorological-chemistry transport model WRF-Chem. In this contribution, we show the impact of using two different fire emissions inventories (FINN and IS4FIRES) and how the coupled WRF-Fire- Chem model improves the results of the forest fire emissions and smoke concentrations. The impact of the forest fire emissions on concentrations is evident, and it is quite clear from these simulations that the choice of emission inventory is very important. We conclude that using the WRF-fire behavior model produces better results than using forest fire emission inventories although the requested computational power is much higher. (Author)

  9. Forest fire forecasting tool for air quality modelling systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    San Jose, R.; Perez, J. L.; Perez, L.; Gonzalez, R. M.; Pecci, J.; Palacios, M.

    2015-07-01

    Adverse effects of smoke on air quality are of great concern; however, even today the estimates of atmospheric fire emissions are a key issue. It is necessary to implement systems for predicting smoke into an air quality modelling system, and in this work a first attempt towards creating a system of this type is presented. Wild land fire spread and behavior are complex phenomena due to both the number of involved physic-chemical factors, and the nonlinear relationship between variables. WRF-Fire was employed to simulate spread and behavior of some real fires occurred in South-East of Spain and North of Portugal. The use of fire behavior models requires the availability of high resolution environmental and fuel data. A new custom fuel moisture content model has been developed. The new module allows each time step to calculate the fuel moisture content of the dead fuels and live fuels. The results confirm that the use of accurate meteorological data and a custom fuel moisture content model is crucial to obtain precise simulations of fire behavior. To simulate air pollution over Europe, we use the regional meteorological-chemistry transport model WRF-Chem. In this contribution, we show the impact of using two different fire emissions inventories (FINN and IS4FIRES) and how the coupled WRF-Fire- Chem model improves the results of the forest fire emissions and smoke concentrations. The impact of the forest fire emissions on concentrations is evident, and it is quite clear from these simulations that the choice of emission inventory is very important. We conclude that using the WRF-fire behavior model produces better results than using forest fire emission inventories although the requested computational power is much higher. (Author)

  10. Observations and assessment of forest carbon dynamics following disturbance in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    S. J. Goetz; B. Bond-Lamberty; B. E. Law; J. A. Hicke; C. Huang; R. A. Houghton; S. McNulty; T. O’Halloran; M. Harmon; A. J. H. Meddens; E. M. Pfeifer; D. Mildrexler; E. S. Kasischke

    2012-01-01

    Disturbance processes of various types substantially modify ecosystem carbon dynamics both temporally and spatially, and constitute a fundamental part of larger landscape-level dynamics. Forests typically lose carbon for several years to several decades following severe disturbance, but our understanding of the duration and dynamics of post-disturbance forest carbon...

  11. Effects of multiple interacting disturbances and salvage logging on forest carbon stocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    John B. Bradford; Shawn Fraver; Amy M. Milo; Anthony W. D' Amato; Brian J. Palik

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is anticipated to increase the frequency of disturbances, potentially impacting carbon stocks in terrestrial ecosystems. However, little is known about the implications of either multiple disturbances or post-disturbance forest management activities on ecosystem carbon stocks. This study quantified how forest carbon stocks responded to stand-replacing...

  12. Monitoring 2009 Forest Disturbance Across the Conterminous United States, Based on Near-Real Time and Historical MODIS 250 Meter NDVI Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spruce, J.; Hargrove, W. W.; Gasser, G.; Smoot, J. C.; Kuper, P.

    2009-01-01

    This case study shows the promise of computing current season forest disturbance detection products at regional to CONUS scales. Use of the eMODIS expedited product enabled a NRT CONUS forest disturbance detection product, a requirement for an eventual, operational forest threat EWS. The 2009 classification product from this study can be used to quantify the areal extent of forest disturbance across CONUS, although a quantitative accuracy assessment still needs to be completed. However, the results would not include disturbances that occurred after July 27, such as the Station Fire. While not shown here, the project also produced maximum NDVI products for the June 10-July 27 period of each year of the 2000-2009 time frame. These products could be applied to compute forest change products on an annual basis. GIS could then be used to assess disturbance persistence. Such follow-on work could lead to attribution of year in which a disturbance occurred. These products (e.g., Figures 6 and 7) may also be useful for assessing forest change associated with climate change, such as carbon losses from bark beetle-induced forest mortality in the Western United States. Other MODIS phenological products are being assessed for aiding forest monitoring needs of the EWS, including cumulative NDVI products (Figure 10).

  13. Water evaporation particularities in the process of forest fire extinguishing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Strizhak Pavel A.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Numerical simulation of water massif motion through the high temperature gases corresponding to the typical conditions of forest fires was carried out. Maximal values of part by volume of liquid evaporating from water massif under its motion through the flaming burning area were determined when solving the heat and mass transfer problem under the conditions of endothermic phase transformations. Influence of liquid phase transition heat on the heat and mass transfer conditions on the track of water massif was determined. The expediency of polydisperse interspaced in time and space atomization of water massifs under the large-scale (especially, forest fires fire extinguishing was proved.

  14. [Effect of fire on understory birds of a gallery forest in central Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marini, M A; Cavalcanti, R B

    1996-11-01

    Habitat burning may cause significant population and community changes in animals and plants, specially when the humans increase fire frequency. We mist-netted the understory birds of a gallery forest from the cerrado region of central Brazil before and after a fire of unknown cause which burned the Ecological Reserve of the University of Brasília, Brasília, DF, in September 1987. We conducted mist-netting mostly during the morning, using 12 mist-nets distributed on 2.5 ha in the interior and border of the forest. We captured 137 individuals of 37 species, 51 individuals of 21 species during 135.5 net/h before the fire, and 98 individuals of 33 species during 233 net/h after the fire. The bird community as a whole did not change after the fire. The observed changes in the bird community were related to the type of habitat used by some species of birds than to their diet. Species typical to gallery forests are probably less adapted to habitat burning than species that occur in other habitats and may be suffering a decrease or a disturbance in their population structure, revealing an important problem of cerrado bird conservation.

  15. Impacts of fire exclusion and recent managed fire on forest structure in old growth Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandon M. Collins; Richard G. Everett; Scott L. Stephens

    2011-01-01

    We re-sampled areas included in an unbiased 1911 timber inventory conducted by the U.S. Forest Service over a 4000 ha study area. Over half of the re-sampled area burned in relatively recent management- and lightning-ignited fires. This allowed for comparisons of both areas that have experienced recent fire and areas with no recent fire, to the same areas historically...

  16. Functional response of ungulate browsers in disturbed eastern hemlock forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeStefano, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Ungulate browsing in predator depleted North American landscapes is believed to be causing widespread tree recruitment failures. However, canopy disturbances and variations in ungulate densities are sources of heterogeneity that can buffer ecosystems against herbivory. Relatively little is known about the functional response (the rate of consumption in relation to food availability) of ungulates in eastern temperate forests, and therefore how “top down” control of vegetation may vary with disturbance type, intensity, and timing. This knowledge gap is relevant in the Northeastern United States today with the recent arrival of hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA; Adelges tsugae) that is killing eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis) and initiating salvage logging as a management response. We used an existing experiment in central New England begun in 2005, which simulated severe adelgid infestation and intensive logging of intact hemlock forest, to examine the functional response of combined moose (Alces americanus) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) foraging in two different time periods after disturbance (3 and 7 years). We predicted that browsing impacts would be linear or accelerating (Type I or Type III response) in year 3 when regenerating stem densities were relatively low and decelerating (Type II response) in year 7 when stem densities increased. We sampled and compared woody regeneration and browsing among logged and simulated insect attack treatments and two intact controls (hemlock and hardwood forest) in 2008 and again in 2012. We then used AIC model selection to compare the three major functional response models (Types I, II, and III) of ungulate browsing in relation to forage density. We also examined relative use of the different stand types by comparing pellet group density and remote camera images. In 2008, total and proportional browse consumption increased with stem density, and peaked in logged plots, revealing a Type I response. In 2012

  17. Predicting Fire Susceptibility in the Forests of Amazonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nepstad, Daniel C.; Brown, I. Foster; Setzer, Alberto

    2000-01-01

    Although fire is the single greatest threat to the ecological integrity of Amazon forests, our ability to predict the occurrence of Amazon forest fires is rudimentary. Part of the difficulty encountered in making such predictions is the remarkable capacity of Amazon forests to tolerate drought by tapping moisture stored in deep soil. These forests can avoid drought-induced leaf shedding by withdrawing moisture to depths of 8 meters and more. Hence, the absorption of deep soil moisture allows these forests to maintain their leaf canopies following droughts of several months duration, thereby maintaining the deep shade and high relative humidity of the forest interior that prevents these ecosystems from burning. But the drought- and fire-avoidance that is conferred by this deep-rooting phenomenon is not unlimited. During successive years of drought, such as those provoked by El Nino episodes, deep soil moisture can be depleted, and drought-induced leaf shedding begins. The goal of this project was to incorporate this knowledge of Amazon forest fire ecology into a predictive model of forest flammability.

  18. ForWarn Forest Disturbance Change Detection System Provides a Weekly Snapshot of US Forest Conditions to Aid Forest Managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargrove, W. W.; Spruce, J.; Kumar, J.; Hoffman, F. M.

    2012-12-01

    The Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center and Western Wildland Environmental Assessment Center of the USDA Forest Service have collaborated with NASA Stennis Space Center to develop ForWarn, a forest monitoring tool that uses MODIS satellite imagery to produce weekly snapshots of vegetation conditions across the lower 48 United States. Forest and natural resource managers can use ForWarn to rapidly detect, identify, and respond to unexpected changes in the nation's forests caused by insects, diseases, wildfires, severe weather, or other natural or human-caused events. ForWarn detects most types of forest disturbances, including insects, disease, wildfires, frost and ice damage, tornadoes, hurricanes, blowdowns, harvest, urbanization, and landslides. It also detects drought, flood, and temperature effects, and shows early and delayed seasonal vegetation development. Operating continuously since January 2010, results show ForWarn to be a robust and highly capable tool for detecting changes in forest conditions. To help forest and natural resource managers rapidly detect, identify, and respond to unexpected changes in the nation's forests, ForWarn produces sets of national maps showing potential forest disturbances at 231m resolution every 8 days, and posts the results to the web for examination. ForWarn compares current greenness with the "normal," historically seen greenness that would be expected for healthy vegetation for a specific location and time of the year, and then identifies areas appearing less green than expected to provide a strategic national overview of potential forest disturbances that can be used to direct ground and aircraft efforts. In addition to forests, ForWarn also tracks potential disturbances in rangeland vegetation and agriculural crops. ForWarn is the first national-scale system of its kind based on remote sensing developed specifically for forest disturbances. The ForWarn system had an official unveiling and rollout in

  19. Patterns of canopy and surface layer consumption in a boreal forest fire from repeat airborne lidar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonzo, Michael; Morton, Douglas C.; Cook, Bruce D.; Andersen, Hans-Erik; Babcock, Chad; Pattison, Robert

    2017-05-01

    Fire in the boreal region is the dominant agent of forest disturbance with direct impacts on ecosystem structure, carbon cycling, and global climate. Global and biome-scale impacts are mediated by burn severity, measured as loss of forest canopy and consumption of the soil organic layer. To date, knowledge of the spatial variability in burn severity has been limited by sparse field sampling and moderate resolution satellite data. Here, we used pre- and post-fire airborne lidar data to directly estimate changes in canopy vertical structure and surface elevation for a 2005 boreal forest fire on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. We found that both canopy and surface losses were strongly linked to pre-fire species composition and exhibited important fine-scale spatial variability at sub-30 m resolution. The fractional reduction in canopy volume ranged from 0.61 in lowland black spruce stands to 0.27 in mixed white spruce and broadleaf forest. Residual structure largely reflects standing dead trees, highlighting the influence of pre-fire forest structure on delayed carbon losses from aboveground biomass, post-fire albedo, and variability in understory light environments. Median loss of surface elevation was highest in lowland black spruce stands (0.18 m) but much lower in mixed stands (0.02 m), consistent with differences in pre-fire organic layer accumulation. Spatially continuous depth-of-burn estimates from repeat lidar measurements provide novel information to constrain carbon emissions from the surface organic layer and may inform related research on post-fire successional trajectories. Spectral measures of burn severity from Landsat were correlated with canopy (r = 0.76) and surface (r = -0.71) removal in black spruce stands but captured less of the spatial variability in fire effects for mixed stands (canopy r = 0.56, surface r = -0.26), underscoring the difficulty in capturing fire effects in heterogeneous boreal forest landscapes using proxy measures of burn

  20. Using space-time features to improve detection of forest disturbances from Landsat time series

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamunyela, E.; Reiche, J.; Verbesselt, J.; Herold, M.

    2017-01-01

    Current research on forest change monitoring using medium spatial resolution Landsat satellite data aims for accurate and timely detection of forest disturbances. However, producing forest disturbance maps that have both high spatial and temporal accuracy is still challenging because of the

  1. Effectiveness of Fire and Fire Surrogate Treatments For Controlling Wildfire Behavior in Piedmont Forests: A Simulation Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helen H. Mohr; Thomas A. Waldrop; Sandra Rideout; Ross J. Phillips; Charles T. Flint

    2004-01-01

    The need for fuel reduction has increased in United States forests due to decades of fire exclusion. Excessive fuel buildup has led to uncharacteristically severe fires in areas with historically short-interval, low-to-moderate-intensity fire regimes. The National Fire and Fire Surrogate (NFFS) Study compared the impacts of three fuel-reduction treatments on numerous...

  2. Remote sensing techniques in monitoring areas affected by forest fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karagianni, Aikaterini Ch.; Lazaridou, Maria A.

    2017-09-01

    Forest fire is a part of nature playing a key role in shaping ecosystems. However, fire's environmental impacts can be significant, affecting wildlife habitat and timber, human settlements, man-made technical constructions and various networks (road, power networks) and polluting the air with emissions harmful to human health. Furthermore, fire's effect on the landscape may be long-lasting. Monitoring the development of a fire occurs as an important aspect at the management of natural hazards in general. Among the used methods for monitoring, satellite data and remote sensing techniques can be proven of particular importance. Satellite remote sensing offers a useful tool for forest fire detection, monitoring, management and damage assessment. Especially for fire scars detection and monitoring, satellite data derived from Landsat 8 can be a useful research tool. This paper includes critical considerations of the above and concerns in particular an example of the Greek area (Thasos Island). This specific area was hit by fires several times in the past and recently as well (September 2016). Landsat 8 satellite data are being used (pre and post fire imagery) and digital image processing techniques are applied (enhancement techniques, calculation of various indices) for fire scars detection. Visual interpretation of the example area affected by the fires is also being done, contributing to the overall study.

  3. [Relationships of forest fire with lightning in Daxing' anling Mountains, Northeast China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Xiao-Li; Zhou, Guang-Sheng; Jia, Bing-Rui; Li, Shuai

    2012-07-01

    Forest fire is an important factor affecting forest ecosystem succession. Recently, forest fire, especially forest lightning fire, shows an increasing trend under global warming. To study the relationships of forest fire with lightning is essential to accurately predict the forest fire in time. Daxing' anling Mountains is a region with high frequency of forest lightning fire in China, and an important experiment site to study the relationships of forest fire with lightning. Based on the forest fire records and the corresponding lightning and meteorological observation data in the Mountains from 1966 to 2007, this paper analyzed the relationships of forest fire with lightning in this region. In the period of 1966-2007, both the lightning fire number and the fired forest area in this region increased significantly. The meteorological factors affecting the forest lighting fire were related to temporal scales. At yearly scale, the forest lightning fire was significantly correlated with precipitation, with a correlation coefficient of -0.489; at monthly scale, it had a significant correlation with air temperature, the correlation coefficient being 0.18. The relationship of the forest lightning fire with lightning was also related to temporal scales. At yearly scale, there was no significant correlation between them; at monthly scale, the forest lightning fire was strongly correlated with lightning and affected by precipitation; at daily scale, a positive correlation was observed between forest lightning fire and lightning when the precipitation was less than 5 mm. According to these findings, a fire danger index based on ADTD lightning detection data was established, and a forest lightning fire forecast model was developed. The prediction accuracy of this model for the forest lightning fire in Daxing' anling Mountains in 2005-2007 was > 80%.

  4. Fire ecology of Montana forest habitat types east of the Continental Divide

    Science.gov (United States)

    William C. Fischer; Bruce D. Clayton

    1983-01-01

    Provides information on fire as an ecological factor for forest habitat types occurring east of the Continental Divide in Montana. Identifies "Fire Groups" of habitat types based on fire's role in forest succession. Describes forest fuels and suggests considerations for fire management.

  5. Natural and social factors influencing forest fire occurrence at a local spatial scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria Luisa Chas-Amil; Julia M. Touza; Jeffrey P. Prestemon; Colin J. McClean

    2012-01-01

    Development of efficient forest fire policies requires an understanding of the underlying reasons behind forest fire ignitions. Globally, there is a close relationship between forest fires and human activities, i.e., fires understood as human events due to negligence (e.g., agricultural burning escapes), and deliberate actions (e.g., pyromania, revenge, land use change...

  6. Seed rain dynamics following disturbance exclusion in a secondary tropical dry forest in Morelos, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceccon, Eliane; Hernández, Patricia

    2009-01-01

    In most of the legally protected areas in Mexico local inhabitants use natural resources, such as fire wood or cattle grazing. These frequent but low-intensity disturbances have consequences at various levels of the tropical ecosystems and strongly impact forest structure and its regeneration capacity. Despite their importance, the effects of these perturbations in many aspects of tropical forest ecology and in the forest's capacity to recover after disturbance exclusion remain poorly understood. Understanding the impact of these processes on tropical forests is necessary for rehabilitating these forests and enhancing their productivity. In this study, we evaluate the impact of twelve years of exclusion (E) of cattle grazing and fire wood extraction in the composition and dynamics of seed rain, and compare this assessment to a similar analysis in an area where these perturbations continued (without exclusion, WE). We found a strong seasonality in seed rain (96% of seeds fell in the dry season) in both areas. There were no significant differences between E and WE sites in relation to overall seed density, species richness and diversity. However, the distribution along the year of seed species density was significantly different among the E and WE sites. The Jaccard's similarity index between E and WE sites was relatively low (0.57). Barochory was the most common dispersal mode observed among the 23 species in terms of seed species density (48%), followed by anemochory (39%) and zoochory (13%). In relation to seed density, anemochory was the most frequent dispersal mode (88%). Most species in the zone were categorized as small seeds (92%), and there were no significant differences in the distribution of seed size between E and WE. The spatial pattern of dispersal of the four species with the highest relative importance value index, in both areas, was aggregated. Twelve years of disturbance exclusion were not enough to fully restore the seed rain of the area; some

  7. Protection forest resilience after a fire event: a case study in Vallis, Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergani, Chiara; Werlen, Mario; Schwarz, Massimiliano

    2016-04-01

    Forests are well known to protect against natural hazards such as landslides, rockfall and floods. Nevertheless, they are dynamic ecosystems which are exposed to a variety of disturbances such as windstorms, fires, bark beetle and pathogen outbreaks. Catastrophic disturbances like windstorms and fires usually remove large portions of the canopy, starting a succession process which lead to a complete stand regeneration. Disturbances belong to the natural dynamic of forests, however they are highly undesirable in the case where forest protect infrastructure or settlements. Quantifying the decay and recovery of the protection effect of forests after disturbances is therefore important to evaluate risks and implement appropriate management techniques, when needed. This work analyzes the dynamic of a Scots Pine (Pinus silvestris) protection forests near Visp (Vallis) after a fire event, focusing on root reinforcement, which is the key factor in preventing shallow landslides. Forest cover, root distribution and root mechanical properties were analyzed 4 years after the fire event, and the root reinforcement has been quantified. Furthermore, the contribution of natural regeneration has been evaluated. Results show that the root reinforcement of Scots pine has declined massively in the forest fire area. At a distance of 1.5 m from the tree stem there is a reduction of 60% compared with the live stand. With increasing distance from the stem, the reduction in the reinforcement is even bigger. At a distance of 2.5 meters it is 12% and at 3.5 meters, only 5% of the original root reinforcement. This decrease is due to the decomposition of roots and associated change in the mechanical properties of the wood. The reinforcement of the dead roots in the forest area is estimated between 0.36 kPa and 2.64 kPa. The contribution of the emerging regeneration is estimated on average 0.01 kPa. Overall the stand provides a reinforcement between 0.37 kPa and 2.65 kPa. From the results it

  8. Longleaf pine restoration in context comparisons of frequent fire forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seth Bigelow; Michael C. Stambaugh; Joseph J. O' Brien; Andrew J. Larson; Michael A. Battaglia

    2018-01-01

    To see a frequent-fire forest burn for the first time is to experience a remarkable teat of nature. Most people are accustomed to the slow change of forests with the seasons, not the instantaneous conversion of green and brown plant mass to smoke and char. Yet to visit such a forest a week after it bums is to see bright green shoots emerging, highlighted against a...

  9. A new forest fire paradigm: The need for high-severity fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monica L. Bond; Rodney B. Siegel; Richard L. Hutto; Victoria A. Saab; Stephen A. Shunk

    2012-01-01

    Bond, Monica L.; Siegel, Rodney B.; Hutto, Richard L.; Saab, Victoria A.; Shunk, Stephen A. 2012. A new forest fire paradigm: The need for high-severity fires. The Wildlife Professional. Winter 2012: 46-49. During the 2012 fire season from June through August, wildfires in the drought-stricken western and central United States burned more than 3.6 million acres of...

  10. Fire drives functional thresholds on the savanna-forest transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dantas, Vinícius de L; Batalha, Marco A; Pausas, Juli G

    2013-11-01

    In tropical landscapes, vegetation patches with contrasting tree densities are distributed as mosaics. However, the locations of patches and densities of trees within them cannot be predicted by climate models alone. It has been proposed that plant-fire feedbacks drive functional thresholds at a landscape scale, thereby maintaining open (savanna) and closed (forest) communities as two distinct stable states. However, there is little rigorous field evidence for this threshold model. Here we aim to provide support for such a model from a field perspective and to analyze the functional and phylogenetic consequences of fire in a Brazilian savanna landscape (Cerrado). We hypothesize that, in tropical landscapes, savanna and forest are two stable states maintained by plant-fire feedbacks. If so, their functional and diversity attributes should change abruptly along a community closure gradient. We set 98 plots along a gradient from open savanna to closed forest in the Brazilian Cerrado and tested for a threshold pattern in nine functional traits, five soil features, and seven diversity indicators. We then tested whether the threshold pattern was associated with different fire regimes. Most community attributes presented a threshold pattern on the savanna-forest transition with coinciding breakpoints. The thresholds separated two community states: (1) open environments with low-diversity communities growing in poor soils and dominated by plants that are highly resistant to high-intensity fires; and (2) closed environments with highly diverse plant communities growing in more fertile soils and dominated by shade-tolerant species that efficiently prevent light from reaching the understory. In addition, each state was associated with contrasting fire regimes. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that forests and savannas are two coexisting stable states with contrasting patterns of function and diversity that are regulated by fire-plant feedbacks; our results also

  11. Model design to predict forest fire risk in Navarra (Spain) using time series analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Huesca, M.; Litago, J.; Palacios-Orueta, A.; Merino de Miguel, Silvia

    2008-01-01

    Understand and predict how forest fire potential changes over time are essential for prioritizing forest management activities and reducing damage. Nowadays we lack the capacity to predict future forest fire trends in response to climate change. The main goal of this research is to build an empirical model to describe, estimate and forecast the forest fires dynamics using the improved Fire Potential Index (FPI) (Huesca et al., 2007) as indicator of fire.

  12. The impact of boreal forest fire on climate warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randerson, J T; Liu, H; Flanner, M G; Chambers, S D; Jin, Y; Hess, P G; Pfister, G; Mack, M C; Treseder, K K; Welp, L R; Chapin, F S; Harden, J W; Goulden, M L; Lyons, E; Neff, J C; Schuur, E A G; Zender, C S

    2006-11-17

    We report measurements and analysis of a boreal forest fire, integrating the effects of greenhouse gases, aerosols, black carbon deposition on snow and sea ice, and postfire changes in surface albedo. The net effect of all agents was to increase radiative forcing during the first year (34 +/- 31 Watts per square meter of burned area), but to decrease radiative forcing when averaged over an 80-year fire cycle (-2.3 +/- 2.2 Watts per square meter) because multidecadal increases in surface albedo had a larger impact than fire-emitted greenhouse gases. This result implies that future increases in boreal fire may not accelerate climate warming.

  13. Creation and implementation of a certification system for insurability and fire risk classification for forest plantations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veronica Loewe M.; Victor Vargas; Juan Miguel Ruiz; Andrea Alvarez C.; Felipe Lobo Q.

    2015-01-01

    Currently, the Chilean insurance market sells forest fire insurance policies and agricultural weather risk policies. However, access to forest fire insurance is difficult for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with a significant proportion (close to 50%) of forest plantations being without coverage. Indeed, the insurance market that sells forest fire insurance...

  14. Anthropogenic disturbance in tropical forests can double biodiversity loss from deforestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, Jos; Lennox, Gareth D; Ferreira, Joice; Berenguer, Erika; Lees, Alexander C; Mac Nally, Ralph; Thomson, James R; Ferraz, Silvio Frosini de Barros; Louzada, Julio; Oliveira, Victor Hugo Fonseca; Parry, Luke; Solar, Ricardo Ribeiro de Castro; Vieira, Ima C G; Aragão, Luiz E O C; Begotti, Rodrigo Anzolin; Braga, Rodrigo F; Cardoso, Thiago Moreira; de Oliveira, Raimundo Cosme; Souza, Carlos M; Moura, Nárgila G; Nunes, Sâmia Serra; Siqueira, João Victor; Pardini, Renata; Silveira, Juliana M; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Z; Veiga, Ruan Carlo Stulpen; Venturieri, Adriano; Gardner, Toby A

    2016-07-07

    Concerted political attention has focused on reducing deforestation, and this remains the cornerstone of most biodiversity conservation strategies. However, maintaining forest cover may not reduce anthropogenic forest disturbances, which are rarely considered in conservation programmes. These disturbances occur both within forests, including selective logging and wildfires, and at the landscape level, through edge, area and isolation effects. Until now, the combined effect of anthropogenic disturbance on the conservation value of remnant primary forests has remained unknown, making it impossible to assess the relative importance of forest disturbance and forest loss. Here we address these knowledge gaps using a large data set of plants, birds and dung beetles (1,538, 460 and 156 species, respectively) sampled in 36 catchments in the Brazilian state of Pará. Catchments retaining more than 69–80% forest cover lost more conservation value from disturbance than from forest loss. For example, a 20% loss of primary forest, the maximum level of deforestation allowed on Amazonian properties under Brazil’s Forest Code, resulted in a 39–54% loss of conservation value: 96–171% more than expected without considering disturbance effects. We extrapolated the disturbance-mediated loss of conservation value throughout Pará, which covers 25% of the Brazilian Amazon. Although disturbed forests retained considerable conservation value compared with deforested areas, the toll of disturbance outside Pará’s strictly protected areas is equivalent to the loss of 92,000–139,000 km2 of primary forest. Even this lowest estimate is greater than the area deforested across the entire Brazilian Amazon between 2006 and 2015 (ref. 10). Species distribution models showed that both landscape and within-forest disturbances contributed to biodiversity loss, with the greatest negative effects on species of high conservation and functional value. These results demonstrate an urgent need

  15. Spatial and temporal patterns of forest disturbance and regrowth within the area of the Northwest Forest Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert E. Kennedy; Zhiqiang Yang; Warren B. Cohen; Eric Pfaff; Justin Braaten; Peder. Nelson

    2012-01-01

    Understanding fine-grain patterns of forest disturbance and regrowth at the landscape scale is critical for effective management, particularly in forests in western Washington, Oregon, and California, U.S., where the policy known as the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) was imposed in 1994 over > 8 million ha of forest in an effort to balance environmental and economic...

  16. Edge fires drive the shape and stability of tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hébert-Dufresne, Laurent; Pellegrini, Adam F A; Bhat, Uttam; Redner, Sidney; Pacala, Stephen W; Berdahl, Andrew M

    2018-03-25

    In tropical regions, fires propagate readily in grasslands but typically consume only edges of forest patches. Thus, forest patches grow due to tree propagation and shrink by fires in surrounding grasslands. The interplay between these competing edge effects is unknown, but critical in determining the shape and stability of individual forest patches, as well the landscape-level spatial distribution and stability of forests. We analyze high-resolution remote-sensing data from protected Brazilian Cerrado areas and find that forest shapes obey a robust perimeter-area scaling relation across climatic zones. We explain this scaling by introducing a heterogeneous fire propagation model of tropical forest-grassland ecotones. Deviations from this perimeter-area relation determine the stability of individual forest patches. At a larger scale, our model predicts that the relative rates of tree growth due to propagative expansion and long-distance seed dispersal determine whether collapse of regional-scale tree cover is continuous or discontinuous as fire frequency changes. © 2018 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Examining Forest Disturbance and Recovery in the Subtropical Forest Region of Zhejiang Province Using Landsat Time-Series Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanshan Liu

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Detection of forest disturbance and recovery has received much attention during the last two decades due to its important influence on forest carbon budget estimation. This research used Landsat time-series data from 1984 to 2015 to examine forest disturbance and recovery in a subtropical region of eastern Zhejiang Province, China, through the LandTrendr algorithm. Field inventory data and high spatial resolution images were used to evaluate the disturbance and recovery results. This research indicates that high producer and user accuracies for both disturbance and recovery classes were obtained and three levels of disturbance and recovery each can be detected. Through incorporation of climate data and disturbance results, drought events also can be successfully detected. More research is needed to incorporate multisource data for detection of forest disturbance types in subtropical regions.

  18. Forest fire occurrence increases the distribution of a scarce forest type in the Mediterranean Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnan, Xavier; Quevedo, Lídia; Rodrigo, Anselm

    2013-01-01

    Here we report how fire recurrence increases the distribution of a scarce forest type in NE Spain that is dominated by the resprouter tree species Arbutus unedo. We used a combination of GIS and field surveys to determine the effect of fire and pre-fire vegetation on the appearance of A. unedo forests. In the field, we also analyzed the factors that promote fire and lead to the appearance of A. unedo forests. Our results reveal an increased occurrence of A. unedo forests in NE Spain in recent years; this phenomenon was strongly related to fire recurrence and the vegetation type present prior to fire. Most Pinus halepensis forests that burned more than once gave rise to A. unedo forests. Our results indicate that these conversions were related to a reduction in pine density coupled with increases in the density and size of A. unedo trees due to recurrent fires. Given that fires are increasing in number and magnitude in the Mediterranean, we predict a major change in landscape structure and composition at the regional scale.

  19. Evalution of forest fire occurrences in the State of Tocantins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Nepomuceno Patriota

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Tocantins is one of the Brazilian states most affected by forest fires, which are the largest remnants of the country's Cerrado. Thus, this study aims to evaluate the Fire Occurrence Records (ROIs in the state of Tocantins between 2003 and 2015 through the information provided by INPE and SisFogo. The work was divided into three stages: the first consists in the acquisition the images of the satellite AQUA and the fire occurrence records (ROI's, the second comprises the processing of data on satellite images and fire occurrence records through a spreadsheet and the third consists in carrying out the relevant statistics the information collected. The results showed that the amount of heat sources is above the fire occurrence records available through Sisfogo. Of the 139 municipalities in the state, only 14 municipalities were filled with their reports and stored on site. The farms were the sites with higher occurrences of fires in the municipalities and the cause with the highest frequency of fire occurrences were "agricultural activities". The information on hot spots, obtained from satellite imagery, can contribute positively to a better understanding of spatial and temporal dynamics of occurrence of forest fires. In the State of Tocantins, the municipalities: Formoso do Araguaia, Confusion Lagoon, Mateiros and Pium are the ones that presented the highest averages of occurrences of heat sources in the last 12 years. Compared with SisFogo information, these municipalities are also the ones that presented the highest numbers of Fire Occurrence Reports.

  20. Increasing fire severity, alternate successional trajectories, and the carbon balance of Alaskan boreal forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, M. C.; Alexander, H. D.; Jean, M.; Melvin, A. M.; Johnstone, J. F.

    2016-12-01

    Climate-sensitive disturbances, such as wildfire, can feed back positively to climate warming via the carbon (C) cycle if C released by disturbance is not replaced over post-fire succession. In boreal forests, burning of carbon in deep organic soils is not only an important determinate of ecosystem element balance over the disturbance cycle, but also sets the conditions that control plant recruitment, species dominance and successional trajectory. Species dominance, in turn, has the potential to exert strong control over the plant-soil-microbial feedbacks that determine C and nutrient coupling, C storage, and ultimately, replacement of combusted C. We examined the consequences of increasing fire severity for C balance and C and nitrogen (N) coupling in Alaskan boreal forests. We estimated combustion losses in 90 black spruce (conifer) stands that burned in 2004. Over the next decade, we followed natural tree seedling establishment in these stands and used seedling species dominance identify conifer versus deciduous successional trajectories. We assembled data from 120 stands that varied in time after fire and successional trajectory, and estimated C and N dynamics across 150 years of post-fire succession for each trajectory. Conifer stands that burned with high severity transitioned to deciduous tree dominance after fire. These stands had smaller ecosystem pools of C and N before fire, lost a larger proportion of these pools during the fire, and began succession with smaller residual pools than stands that returned to conifer dominance after fire. Over secondary succession, deciduous stands accumulated about 10 times more carbon in aboveground biomass than conifer stands. Belowground biomass and soil carbon accumulation, by contrast, was about three times higher in the black spruce stands than in deciduous stands. As a result, net ecosystem C accumulation over the 100 year inter-fire interval was three times higher in deciduous stands than in coniferous stands

  1. The Zoning of Forest Fire Potential of Gulestan Province Forests Using Granular Computing and MODIS Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jalilzadeh Shadlouei, A.; Delavar, M. R.

    2013-09-01

    There are many vegetation in Iran. This is because of extent of Iran and its width. One of these vegetation is forest vegetation most prevalent in Northern provinces named Guilan, Mazandaran, Gulestan, Ardebil as well as East Azerbaijan. These forests are always threatened by natural forest fires so much so that there have been reports of tens of fires in recent years. Forest fires are one of the major environmental as well as economic, social and security concerns in the world causing much damages. According to climatology, forest fires are one of the important factors in the formation and dispersion of vegetation. Also, regarding the environment, forest fires cause the emission of considerable amounts of greenhouse gases, smoke and dust into the atmosphere which in turn causes the earth temperature to rise up and are unhealthy to humans, animals and vegetation. In agriculture droughts are the usual side effects of these fires. The causes of forest fires could be categorized as either Human or Natural Causes. Naturally, it is impossible to completely contain forest fires; however, areas with high potentials of fire could be designated and analysed to decrease the risk of fires. The zoning of forest fire potential is a multi-criteria problem always accompanied by inherent uncertainty like other multi-criteria problems. So far, various methods and algorithm for zoning hazardous areas via Remote Sensing (RS) and Geospatial Information System (GIS) have been offered. This paper aims at zoning forest fire potential of Gulestan Province of Iran forests utilizing Remote Sensing, Geospatial Information System, meteorological data, MODIS images and granular computing method. Granular computing is part of granular mathematical and one way of solving multi-criteria problems such forest fire potential zoning supervised by one expert or some experts , and it offers rules for classification with the least inconsistencies. On the basis of the experts' opinion, 6 determinative

  2. Forest edge disturbance increases rattan abundance in tropical rain forest fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Mason J; Edwards, Will; Magrach, Ainhoa; Laurance, Susan G; Alamgir, Mohammed; Porolak, Gabriel; Laurance, William F

    2017-07-20

    Human-induced forest fragmentation poses one of the largest threats to global diversity yet its impact on rattans (climbing palms) has remained virtually unexplored. Rattan is arguably the world's most valuable non-timber forest product though current levels of harvesting and land-use change place wild populations at risk. To assess rattan response to fragmentation exclusive of harvesting impacts we examined rattan abundance, demography and ecology within the forests of northeastern, Australia. We assessed the community abundance of rattans, and component adult (>3 m) and juvenile (≤3 m) abundance in five intact forests and five fragments (23-58 ha) to determine their response to a range of environmental and ecological parameters. Fragmented forests supported higher abundances of rattans than intact forests. Fragment size and edge degradation significantly increased adult rattan abundance, with more in smaller fragments and near edges. Our findings suggest that rattan increase within fragments is due to canopy disturbance of forest edges resulting in preferential, high-light habitat. However, adult and juvenile rattans may respond inconsistently to fragmentation. In managed forest fragments, a rattan abundance increase may provide economic benefits through sustainable harvesting practices. However, rattan increases in protected area forest fragments could negatively impact conservation outcomes.

  3. Average Stand Age from Forest Inventory Plots Does Not Describe Historical Fire Regimes in Ponderosa Pine and Mixed-Conifer Forests of Western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Jens T; Safford, Hugh D; North, Malcolm P; Fried, Jeremy S; Gray, Andrew N; Brown, Peter M; Dolanc, Christopher R; Dobrowski, Solomon Z; Falk, Donald A; Farris, Calvin A; Franklin, Jerry F; Fulé, Peter Z; Hagmann, R Keala; Knapp, Eric E; Miller, Jay D; Smith, Douglas F; Swetnam, Thomas W; Taylor, Alan H

    Quantifying historical fire regimes provides important information for managing contemporary forests. Historical fire frequency and severity can be estimated using several methods; each method has strengths and weaknesses and presents challenges for interpretation and verification. Recent efforts to quantify the timing of historical high-severity fire events in forests of western North America have assumed that the "stand age" variable from the US Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program reflects the timing of historical high-severity (i.e. stand-replacing) fire in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests. To test this assumption, we re-analyze the dataset used in a previous analysis, and compare information from fire history records with information from co-located FIA plots. We demonstrate that 1) the FIA stand age variable does not reflect the large range of individual tree ages in the FIA plots: older trees comprised more than 10% of pre-stand age basal area in 58% of plots analyzed and more than 30% of pre-stand age basal area in 32% of plots, and 2) recruitment events are not necessarily related to high-severity fire occurrence. Because the FIA stand age variable is estimated from a sample of tree ages within the tree size class containing a plurality of canopy trees in the plot, it does not necessarily include the oldest trees, especially in uneven-aged stands. Thus, the FIA stand age variable does not indicate whether the trees in the predominant size class established in response to severe fire, or established during the absence of fire. FIA stand age was not designed to measure the time since a stand-replacing disturbance. Quantification of historical "mixed-severity" fire regimes must be explicit about the spatial scale of high-severity fire effects, which is not possible using FIA stand age data.

  4. Average Stand Age from Forest Inventory Plots Does Not Describe Historical Fire Regimes in Ponderosa Pine and Mixed-Conifer Forests of Western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Jens T.; Safford, Hugh D.; North, Malcolm P.; Fried, Jeremy S.; Gray, Andrew N.; Brown, Peter M.; Dolanc, Christopher R.; Dobrowski, Solomon Z.; Falk, Donald A.; Farris, Calvin A.; Franklin, Jerry F.; Fulé, Peter Z.; Hagmann, R. Keala; Knapp, Eric E.; Miller, Jay D.; Smith, Douglas F.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Taylor, Alan H.

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying historical fire regimes provides important information for managing contemporary forests. Historical fire frequency and severity can be estimated using several methods; each method has strengths and weaknesses and presents challenges for interpretation and verification. Recent efforts to quantify the timing of historical high-severity fire events in forests of western North America have assumed that the “stand age” variable from the US Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program reflects the timing of historical high-severity (i.e. stand-replacing) fire in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests. To test this assumption, we re-analyze the dataset used in a previous analysis, and compare information from fire history records with information from co-located FIA plots. We demonstrate that 1) the FIA stand age variable does not reflect the large range of individual tree ages in the FIA plots: older trees comprised more than 10% of pre-stand age basal area in 58% of plots analyzed and more than 30% of pre-stand age basal area in 32% of plots, and 2) recruitment events are not necessarily related to high-severity fire occurrence. Because the FIA stand age variable is estimated from a sample of tree ages within the tree size class containing a plurality of canopy trees in the plot, it does not necessarily include the oldest trees, especially in uneven-aged stands. Thus, the FIA stand age variable does not indicate whether the trees in the predominant size class established in response to severe fire, or established during the absence of fire. FIA stand age was not designed to measure the time since a stand-replacing disturbance. Quantification of historical “mixed-severity” fire regimes must be explicit about the spatial scale of high-severity fire effects, which is not possible using FIA stand age data. PMID:27196621

  5. Amazonia rain forest fires: A lacustrine record of 7000 years

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turcq, B.; Sifeddine, A. [Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterol, RJ (Brazil). Dept. de Geoquimica; Martin, Louis [PPPG, Inst. de Geociencias, Salvador, BA (Brazil); Absy, M.L. [Inst. Nacional de Pesquisas Amazonicas, Manaus, AM (Brazil). Dept. de Botanica; Soubies, F. [Univ. Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (France). Lab. de Mineralogie; Suguio, Kenitiro [Sao Paulo Univ., SP (Brazil). Inst. de Geociencias; Volkmer-Ribeiro, C. [Fundacao Zoobotanica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil)

    1998-03-01

    Although human influence dominates present-day Amazonian rain forest fires, old charcoal fragments, buried in the soils or in lacustrine sediments, confirm that fire has played a major role in the history of Amazonian forests. These fires may have influenced the present-day diversity and structure of the rain forest and, if these fire-favorable events of the past reoccur, there may be drastic consequences for the future of the Amazonian forests. Detailed studies of Carajas lake sediments permit identification of these past fire events, through microscopic observations of small charcoal fragments. They also permit, through radiocarbon dating, a better definition of their timing and make it possible to relate them to past paleo-environmental and paleoclimatic conditions. The paleodata indicate that fire events were concomitant with short dry climate episodes whose frequency of occurrences has varied during the last 7000 years. These dry events may be related to past climate conditions observed in different regions of tropical South America 23 refs, 3 figs

  6. Potential shifts in dominant forest cover in interior Alaska driven by variations in fire severity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, K; McGuire, A D; Hoy, E E; Kasischke, E S

    2011-10-01

    Large fire years in which >1% of the landscape burns are becoming more frequent in the Alaskan (USA) interior, with four large fire years in the past 10 years, and 79 000 km2 (17% of the region) burned since 2000. We modeled fire severity conditions for the entire area burned in large fires during a large fire year (2004) to determine the factors that are most important in estimating severity and to identify areas affected by deep-burning fires. In addition to standard methods of assessing severity using spectral information, we incorporated information regarding topography, spatial pattern of burning, and instantaneous characteristics such as fire weather and fire radiative power. Ensemble techniques using regression trees as a base learner were able to determine fire severity successfully using spectral data in concert with other relevant geospatial data. This method was successful in estimating average conditions, but it underestimated the range of severity. This new approach was used to identify black spruce stands that experienced intermediate- to high-severity fires in 2004 and are therefore susceptible to a shift in regrowth toward deciduous dominance or mixed dominance. Based on the output of the severity model, we estimate that 39% (approximately 4000 km2) of all burned black spruce stands in 2004 had fire years, the effect of such years in the most recent decade has been to reduce black spruce stands by 4.2% and to increase areas dominated or co-dominated by deciduous forest stands by 20%. Such disturbance-driven modifications have the potential to affect the carbon cycle and climate system at regional to global scales.

  7. Rapid Shifts in Soil Nutrients and Decomposition Enzyme Activity in Early Succession Following Forest Fire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph E. Knelman

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available While past research has studied forest succession on decadal timescales, ecosystem responses to rapid shifts in nutrient dynamics within the first months to years of succession after fire (e.g., carbon (C burn-off, a pulse in inorganic nitrogen (N, accumulation of organic matter, etc. have been less well documented. This work reveals how rapid shifts in nutrient availability associated with fire disturbance may drive changes in soil enzyme activity on short timescales in forest secondary succession. In this study, we evaluate soil chemistry and decomposition extracellular enzyme activity (EEA across time to determine whether rapid shifts in nutrient availability (1–29 months after fire might control microbial enzyme activity. We found that, with advancing succession, soil nutrients correlate with C-targeting β-1,4-glucosidase (BG EEA four months after the fire, and with N-targeting β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG EEA at 29 months after the fire, indicating shifting nutrient limitation and decomposition dynamics. We also observed increases in BG:NAG ratios over 29 months in these recently burned soils, suggesting relative increases in microbial activity around C-cycling and C-acquisition. These successional dynamics were unique from seasonal changes we observed in unburned, forested reference soils. Our work demonstrates how EEA may shift even within the first months to years of ecosystem succession alongside common patterns of post-fire nutrient availability. Thus, this work emphasizes that nutrient dynamics in the earliest stages of forest secondary succession are important for understanding rates of C and N cycling and ecosystem development.

  8. Human or Natural Disturbance: Landscape-Scale Dynamics of the Tropical Forests of Puerto Rico

    OpenAIRE

    Foster, David Russell; Fluet, M.; Boose, E. R.

    1999-01-01

    Increasingly, ecologists are recognizing that human disturbance has played an important role in tropical forest history and that many assumptions concerning the relative importance of natural processes warrant re-examination. To assess the historical role of broad-scale human vs. natural disturbance on an intensively studied tropical forest we undertook a landscape-level analysis of forest dynamics in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF; 10 871 ha) in eastern Puerto Rico. Using aerial photo...

  9. Sensitivity of Southwestern US Mountain Ecosystems to Climate Variability: Interactions Among Forest Dieback, Fire, and Erosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, C. D.

    2004-12-01

    Millions of hectares in the upland landscapes of the Southwestern United States have been affected by forest dieback and severe fire activity since the late 1990s, a period of ongoing severe drought and unusual warmth. Climate regulates physiological plant stress that can directly cause vegetation mortality, and also influences associated insect outbreak dynamics. Climate also interacts with fuel conditions to drive regional fire activity. Current and historic patterns of forest dieback, fire activity, and erosion are described across landscape gradients in Southwestern mountains, particularly the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. Methods used include inventory and dating of live and dead woody plants to assess demographic changes through time, long-term (since 1991) measurements of ponderosa pine tree-growth at three sites with dendrometer bands, monitoring of herbaceous vegetation along 3 km of permanent transects since 1991, aerial photograph analyses of insect outbreaks and forest dieback and fire activity, and hydrological measurements of runoff and erosion. Similarities and differences in vegetation dieback and regional fire activity patterns between the current drought and the 1950s (when regional drought last affected the Southwest) are explained by changes in climatic and vegetation conditions. The current climate-induced vegetation dieback and pulse of regional fire activity have strong feedbacks with various key ecosystem processes, including water budgets and soil erosion. For example, severe drought and fire both markedly reduce the surface cover of live plants and dead plant materials ("litter"), triggering nonlinear increases in erosion rates once the connectivity of bare soil patches exceeds critical threshold values, particularly during high-intensity summer rainfall events that characterize the Southwestern summer "monsoon". These observations highlight the magnitude, rapidity, and complexity of climate-induced disturbance processes, and provide an

  10. Comparing Effects of Climate Warming, Fire, and Timber Harvesting on a Boreal Forest Landscape in Northeastern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaona; He, Hong S.; Wu, Zhiwei; Liang, Yu; Schneiderman, Jeffrey E.

    2013-01-01

    Forest management under a changing climate requires assessing the effects of climate warming and disturbance on the composition, age structure, and spatial patterns of tree species. We investigated these effects on a boreal forest in northeastern China using a factorial experimental design and simulation modeling. We used a spatially explicit forest landscape model (LANDIS) to evaluate the effects of three independent variables: climate (current and expected future), fire regime (current and increased fire), and timber harvesting (no harvest and legal harvest). Simulations indicate that this forested landscape would be significantly impacted under a changing climate. Climate warming would significantly increase the abundance of most trees, especially broadleaf species (aspen, poplar, and willow). However, climate warming would have less impact on the abundance of conifers, diversity of forest age structure, and variation in spatial landscape structure than burning and harvesting. Burning was the predominant influence in the abundance of conifers except larch and the abundance of trees in mid-stage. Harvesting impacts were greatest for the abundance of larch and birch, and the abundance of trees during establishment stage (1–40 years), early stage (41–80 years) and old- growth stage (>180 years). Disturbance by timber harvesting and burning may significantly alter forest ecosystem dynamics by increasing forest fragmentation and decreasing forest diversity. Results from the simulations provide insight into the long term management of this boreal forest. PMID:23573209

  11. Tolerance of frugivorous birds to habitat disturbance in a tropical cloud forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gomes, L.G.L.; Oostra, V.; Nijman, V.; Cleef, A.M.; Kappelle, M.

    2008-01-01

    In view of the continued decline in tropical forest cover around the globe, forest restoration has become a key tool in tropical rainforest conservation. One of the main - and least expensive - restoration strategies is natural forest regeneration. By aiding forest seed influx both into disturbed

  12. Effects of fire and harvest on soil respiration in a mixed-conifer forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dore, S.; Fry, D.; Stephens, S.

    2012-12-01

    Forest ecosystems, and in particular forest soils, constitute a major reservoir of global terrestrial carbon and soil respiration is the largest carbon loss from these ecosystems. Disturbances can affect soil respiration, causing physical and chemical changes in soil characteristics, adding both, above and belowground necromass, and changing microclimatic conditions. This could signify an important and long term carbon loss, even higher than the carbon directly removed by the harvest or during fire. These losses need to be included when quantifying the net carbon balance of forests. We measured the impacts of prescribed fire and clear-cut tree harvest on soil respiration in a mixed-conifer forest in the central Sierra Nevada. The prescribed fire treatment was implemented in 2002 and again in 2009. Four areas were clear-cut harvested in 2010. In half of these units the soils were mechanically ripped to reduce soil compaction, a common practice in the Sierra Nevada industrial forest lands. Soil respiration was measured using two different techniques: the chamber method and the gradient method. Soil respiration was affected by treatments in two different ways. First, treatments changed soil temperature and soil water content, the main abiotic factors controlling soil respiration. The clear cut and the prescribed fire treatments created higher maximum soil temperature and more available soil water content, environmental conditions favorable to soil respiration. However, the loss of trees and thus fine roots, and the decrease of soil litter and organic layers, because of their combustion or removal, had a negative effect on soil respiration that was stronger than the positive effect due to more favorable post disturbance environmental conditions. Soil respiration rates remained steady 1-2 years after treatments and no increase or spikes of soil respiration were measured after treatments. Continuous measurements of CO2 concentrations at different soil depths improved our

  13. Mapping regional forest fire probability using artificial neural network model in a Mediterranean forest ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Onur Satir

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Forest fires are one of the most important factors in environmental risk assessment and it is the main cause of forest destruction in the Mediterranean region. Forestlands have a number of known benefits such as decreasing soil erosion, containing wild life habitats, etc. Additionally, forests are also important player in carbon cycle and decreasing the climate change impacts. This paper discusses forest fire probability mapping of a Mediterranean forestland using a multiple data assessment technique. An artificial neural network (ANN method was used to map forest fire probability in Upper Seyhan Basin (USB in Turkey. Multi-layer perceptron (MLP approach based on back propagation algorithm was applied in respect to physical, anthropogenic, climate and fire occurrence datasets. Result was validated using relative operating characteristic (ROC analysis. Coefficient of accuracy of the MLP was 0.83. Landscape features input to the model were assessed statistically to identify the most descriptive factors on forest fire probability mapping using the Pearson correlation coefficient. Landscape features like elevation (R = −0.43, tree cover (R = 0.93 and temperature (R = 0.42 were strongly correlated with forest fire probability in the USB region.

  14. The principles for creation of fire-prevention forest belts with barriers of deciduous species for protection from crown fires

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. N. Sannikov

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The article discuss one of the priority security problems in Russia, which is elaboration of the strategic system of the forest and society safeguards from catastrophic forest crown fires in connection with rapid climate warming. It is postulated, that a most effective and reliable barrier for the dispersal of the intensive crown fire in a coniferous forest massive can be a sufficiently wide strip of deciduous tree species – «deciduous forest barrier», which has phytomass capable of absorbing crown fire energy and transforming them to surface fire, which may be extinguished by technical means. The actuality of the natural study of the transition parameters from the crown fire to surface fire has been noted, depending on climate, fire intensity and the deciduous barrier structure. The results of the quantitative natural investigation of the consequences of catastrophic crown fires of 2004 in the island pine forests of forest-steppe zone in Kurgan Oblast, which passed through the belt of 50–70 year-old birch stands of middle density, has been cited and formalized mathematically. It has been shown, that 150 m width of deciduous forest barrier is necessary as a minimum for the reliable transition of the high intensive front crown fire to surface fire in the forest-steppe conditions of the Western Siberia, but this width reduces with a decreasing heating effect. It has been proposed to create the complex fire-prevention forest belts of different construction for the protection of forests, industrial objects and settlements. Besides a basic deciduous barrier, their structure should include technologically necessary buffer zones and zones for the localization and extinguishing surface fire, which stop a crown fire. It has been recommended to use natural regeneration of deciduous tree species, as a most effective and non-deficient method for the creation of deciduous forest barriers in the predominant forest types, except the lichen pine forests

  15. Net primary production of a temperate deciduous forest exhibits a threshold response to increasing disturbance severity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart-Haëntjens, Ellen J; Curtis, Peter S; Fahey, Robert T; Vogel, Christoph S; Gough, Christopher M

    2015-09-01

    The global carbon (C) balance is vulnerable to disturbances that alter terrestrial C storage. Disturbances to forests occur along a continuum of severity, from low-intensity disturbance causing the mortality or defoliation of only a subset of trees to severe stand- replacing disturbance that kills all trees; yet considerable uncertainty remains in how forest production changes across gradients of disturbance intensity. We used a gradient of tree mortality in an upper Great Lakes forest ecosystem to: (1) quantify how aboveground wood net primary production (ANPP,) responds to a range of disturbance severities; and (2) identify mechanisms supporting ANPPw resistance or resilience following moderate disturbance. We found that ANPPw declined nonlinearly with rising disturbance severity, remaining stable until >60% of the total tree basal area senesced. As upper canopy openness increased from disturbance, greater light availability to the subcanopy enhanced the leaf-level photosynthesis and growth of this formerly light-limited canopy stratum, compensating for upper canopy production losses and a reduction in total leaf area index (LAI). As a result, whole-ecosystem production efficiency (ANPPw/LAI) increased with rising disturbance severity, except in plots beyond the disturbance threshold. These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for a nonlinear relationship between ANPPw, and disturbance severity, in which the physiological and growth enhancement of undisturbed vegetation is proportional to the level of disturbance until a threshold is exceeded. Our results have important ecological and management implications, demonstrating that in some ecosystems moderate levels of disturbance minimally alter forest production.

  16. How Similar Are Forest Disturbance Maps Derived from Different Landsat Time Series Algorithms?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Warren B. Cohen

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Disturbance is a critical ecological process in forested systems, and disturbance maps are important for understanding forest dynamics. Landsat data are a key remote sensing dataset for monitoring forest disturbance and there recently has been major growth in the development of disturbance mapping algorithms. Many of these algorithms take advantage of the high temporal data volume to mine subtle signals in Landsat time series, but as those signals become subtler, they are more likely to be mixed with noise in Landsat data. This study examines the similarity among seven different algorithms in their ability to map the full range of magnitudes of forest disturbance over six different Landsat scenes distributed across the conterminous US. The maps agreed very well in terms of the amount of undisturbed forest over time; however, for the ~30% of forest mapped as disturbed in a given year by at least one algorithm, there was little agreement about which pixels were affected. Algorithms that targeted higher-magnitude disturbances exhibited higher omission errors but lower commission errors than those targeting a broader range of disturbance magnitudes. These results suggest that a user of any given forest disturbance map should understand the map’s strengths and weaknesses (in terms of omission and commission error rates, with respect to the disturbance targets of interest.

  17. Long-term impacts of recurrent logging and fire in Amazon forests: a modeling study using the Ecosystem Demography Model (ED2)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longo, M.; Keller, M.; Scaranello, M. A., Sr.; dos-Santos, M. N.; Xu, Y.; Huang, M.; Morton, D. C.

    2017-12-01

    Logging and understory fires are major drivers of tropical forest degradation, reducing carbon stocks and changing forest structure, composition, and dynamics. In contrast to deforested areas, sites that are disturbed by logging and fires retain some, albeit severely altered, forest structure and function. In this study we simulated selective logging using the Ecosystem Demography Model (ED-2) to investigate the impact of a broad range of logging techniques, harvest intensities, and recurrence cycles on the long-term dynamics of Amazon forests, including the magnitude and duration of changes in forest flammability following timber extraction. Model results were evaluated using eddy covariance towers at logged sites at the Tapajos National Forest in Brazil and data on long-term dynamics reported in the literature. ED-2 is able to reproduce both the fast (energy fluxes compared to flux tower, and the typical, field-observed, decadal time scales for biomass recovery when no additional logging occurs. Preliminary results using the original ED-2 fire model show that canopy cover loss of forests under high-intensity, conventional logging cause sufficient drying to support more intense fires. These results indicate that under intense degradation, forests may shift to novel disturbance regimes, severely reducing carbon stocks, and inducing long-term changes in forest structure and composition from recurrent fires.

  18. Ecosystem Carbon Emissions from 2015 Forest Fires in Interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Christopher S.

    2018-01-01

    In the summer of 2015, hundreds of wildfires burned across the state of Alaska, and consumed more than 1.6 million ha of boreal forest and wetlands in the Yukon-Koyukuk region. Mapping of 113 large wildfires using Landsat satellite images from before and after 2015 indicated that nearly 60% of this area was burned at moderate-to-high severity levels. Field measurements near the town of Tanana on the Yukon River were carried out in July of 2017 in both unburned and 2015 burned forested areas (nearly adjacent to one-another) to visually verify locations of different Landsat burn severity classes (low, moderate, or high). Results: Field measurements indicated that the loss of surface organic layers in boreal ecosystem fires is a major factor determining post-fire soil temperature changes, depth of thawing, and carbon losses from the mineral topsoil layer. Measurements in forest sites showed that soil temperature profiles to 30 cm depth at burned forest sites increased by an average of 8o - 10o C compared to unburned forest sites. Sampling and laboratory analysis indicated a 65% reduction in soil carbon content and a 58% reduction in soil nitrogen content in severely burned sample sites compared to soil mineral samples from nearby unburned spruce forests. Conclusions: Combined with nearly unprecedented forest areas severely burned in the Interior region of Alaska in 2015, total ecosystem fire emission of carbon to the atmosphere exceeded most previous estimates for the state.

  19. Use of models to study forest fire behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace L. Fons

    1961-01-01

    The U.S. Forest Service has started a laboratory study with the ultimate objective of determining model laws for fire behavior. The study includes an examination of the effect of such variables as species of wood, density of wood, moisture content, size of fuel particle, spacing, dimensions of fuel bed, wind, and slope on the rate of spread of fire and the partition of...

  20. Evaluating the utility and seasonality of NDVI values for assessing post-disturbance recovery in a subalpine forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buma, Brian

    2012-06-01

    Forest disturbances around the world have the potential to alter forest type and cover, with impacts on diversity, carbon storage, and landscape composition. These disturbances, especially fire, are common and often large, making ground investigation of forest recovery difficult. Remote sensing offers a means to monitor forest recovery in real time, over the entire landscape. Typically, recovery monitoring via remote sensing consists of measuring vegetation indices (e.g., NDVI) or index-derived metrics, with the assumption that recovery in NDVI (for example) is a meaningful measure of ecosystem recovery. This study tests that assumption using MODIS 16-day imagery from 2000 to 2010 in the area of the Colorado's Routt National Forest Hinman burn (2002) and seedling density counts taken in the same area. Results indicate that NDVI is rarely correlated with forest recovery, and is dominated by annual and perennial forb cover, although topography complicates analysis. Utility of NDVI as a means to delineate areas of recovery or non-recovery are in doubt, as bootstrapped analysis indicates distinguishing power only slightly better than random. NDVI in revegetation analyses should carefully consider the ecology and seasonal patterns of the system in question.

  1. Impact of fire disturbances in a Mediterranean maquis ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacciu, Valentina; Arca, Bachisio; Pellizzaro, Grazia; Salis, Michele; Ventura, Andrea; Arca, Angelo; Duce, Pierpaolo; Spano, Donatella

    2010-05-01

    Fire is an integral part of Mediterranean ecosystems, and for thousands of years it played an important ecological role in determining the evolution of the vegetation types in these areas. Mediterranean ecosystems are, in fact, mainly characterized by fire-prone vegetation. At small time scale, individual fires can affect both the fuel dynamics and the biological systems at different levels (individual, species, population), inducing changes in the spatial pattern of vegetation structure and composition, due to the increase of resource availability, such as water and light, and the reduction of plant competition. In this context, we conducted a comparison between the species composition and plant and substrate cover in maquis communities of different ages in several burned and unburned areas. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of fire on vegetation richness and diversity, and to better understand the consequential structural evolution of the vegetation complexes. The experimental area was located in the North West of Sardinia Island. The sampling scheme was constituted by eight sampling sites. In each site, species composition and plant height were determined by the point intercept method along two linear transects orthogonally disposed. Five plots (2x2 m) were displaced along the two transects, and in each plot digital photos were collected at about two meters above the plants. The photos were analyzed in order to calculate the area covered by each species. Substrate cover (e.g. the percent cover of stones, leaf litter, bare soil) was also recorded. Substrate and vegetation data were analyzed using both the cluster and principal component analysis, with the aim to detect vegetation and substrate differences among plots and sites. In addition, several ecological indices as the species richness and the floristic diversity were evaluated. Experimental results confirmed that fire controls the species composition and the substrate covers, contributing to

  2. Monitoring Regional Forest Disturbances across the US with Near Real Time MODIS NDVI Products included in the ForWarn Forest Threat Early Warning System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spruce, Joseph; Hargrove, William W.; Gasser, Gerald; Norman, Steve

    2013-01-01

    U.S. forests occupy approx.1/3 of total land area (approx. 304 million ha). Since 2000, a growing number of regionally evident forest disturbances have occurred due to abiotic and biotic agents. Regional forest disturbances can threaten human life and property, bio-diversity and water supplies. Timely regional forest disturbance monitoring products are needed to aid forest health management work. Near Real Time (NRT) twice daily MODIS NDVI data provide a means to monitor U.S. regional forest disturbances every 8 days. Since 2010, these NRT forest change products have been produced and posted on the US Forest Service ForWarn Early Warning System for Forest Threats.

  3. Impacts of disturbance history on annual carbon stocks and fluxes in southeastern US forests during 1986-2010 using remote sensing, forest inventory data, and a carbon cycle model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, H.; Zhou, Y.; Williams, C. A.

    2017-12-01

    Accurate assessment of forest carbon storage and uptake is central to policymaking aimed at mitigating climate change and understanding the role forests play in the global carbon cycle. Disturbance events are highly heterogeneous in space and time, impacting forest carbon dynamics and challenging the quantification and reporting of carbon stocks and fluxes. This study documents annual carbon stocks and fluxes from 1986 and 2010 mapped at 30-m resolution across southeastern US forests, characterizing how they respond to disturbances and ensuing regrowth. Forest inventory data (FIA) are used to parameterize a carbon cycle model (CASA) to represent post-disturbance carbon trajectories of carbon pools and fluxes with time following harvest, fire and bark beetle disturbances of varying severity and across forest types and site productivity settings. Time since disturbance at 30 meters is inferred from two remote-sensing data sources: disturbance year (NAFD, MTBS and ADS) and biomass (NBCD 2000) intersected with FIA-derived curves of biomass accumulation with stand age. All of these elements are combined to map carbon stocks and fluxes at a 30-m resolution for the year 2010, and to march backward in time for continuous, annual reporting. Results include maps of annual carbon stocks and fluxes for forests of the southeastern US, and analysis of spatio-temporal patterns of carbon sources/sinks at local and regional scales.

  4. Forest fire occurrence and silvicultural-economic prerequisites for protection improvement in forest regions of Krasnoyarsk Krai

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Furyaev

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The territory of the Krasnoyarsk Krai is substantially diverse in terms of climatic, silvicultural and economic conditions owing to its sufficient spread from the North to the South. These differences were to some extent taken into account when the forest fund of the Krasnoyarsk Krai was divided into seven forest regions: forest tundra of Central Siberia, highland taiga of Central Siberia, plain taiga of West Siberia, Angara region, subtaiga forest steppe of Central Siberia, Altai-Sayanskiy highland, Altai-Sayanskiy highland forest steppe. The regions show different levels of fire occurrence and different fire effects that require different levels of protection from forest fires. Optimization of the protection is based on activities that combine prevention and timely detection of fires depending on development of forest regions and intensity of forest management. The main focus of the paper is on possibility or inadvisability of prescribed fires, fire-use fires (fires that started naturally but were then managed for their beneficial effects and the system of activities increasing fire resistance of the most valuable forests. It is justified that taking into account the effects of forest fires, selective protection of forests is expedient in forest-tundra Middle Siberia and highland taiga of Middle Siberia regions. The whole area of plain taiga of West Siberia region should be subject to protection but with various levels of intensity in different parts of it. The forest fund of Angara, subtaiga forest steppe of Middle Siberia, Altai-Sayanskiy highland, Altai-Sayanskiy highland forest steppe regions should be protected on the whole area. Application of prescribed fires is relevant in the subzone of South taiga, in the forest steppe zone as well as in the submontane and lowland taiga belts. Fire-use fires are admissible on limited areas in the subzones of Middle and North taiga.

  5. Disturbance severity and net primary production resilience of a Great Lakes forest ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich-Stuart, E. J.; Fahey, R.; De La Cruz, A.; Gough, C. M.

    2013-12-01

    As many Eastern deciduous forests of North America transition from early to mid-succession, the future of regional terrestrial carbon (C) storage is uncertain. The gradual, patchy senescence of early-successional trees accompanying this transition is comparable in severity to moderate disturbances such as silvicultural thinnings or insect outbreaks. While stand-replacing disturbance causes forests to temporarily become C sources, more moderate disturbances may inflict little to no decline in C sequestration. Identifying the disturbance severity at which net primary production (NPP) declines and the underlying mechanisms that drive forest C storage resistance to disturbance is increasingly important as moderate disturbances increase in frequency and extent across the region. The Forest Accelerated Succession ExperimenT (FASET) at the University of Michigan Biological Station subjected 39 ha of forest to moderate disturbance in 2008 by advancing age-related tree mortality through the stem girdling of early successional aspen and birch. Stand-scale disturbance severity, expressed as relative basal area of girdled aspen and birch, was 39% but plot-scale severity varied substantially within the experimental area (9 to 66% in 0.1 ha plots) because of the heterogeneous distribution of aspen and birch. We used this disturbance severity gradient to examine: 1) the relationship between NPP resilience and disturbance severity; 2) the disturbance severity at which NPP resilience prompts a shift in dominance from canopy to subcanopy vegetation; 3) how NPP resilience relates to disturbance-driven changes in resource-use efficiency, and 4) how disturbance severity shapes emerging forest communities We found that NPP is highly resilient to low to moderate levels of disturbance, but that production declines once a higher disturbance threshold is exceeded. Several complementary mechanisms, including canopy structural reorganization and the reallocation of growth-limiting light and

  6. On the characterization of vegetation recovery after fire disturbance using Fisher-Shannon analysis and SPOT/VEGETATION Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasaponara, Rosa; Lanorte, Antonio; Lovallo, Michele; Telesca, Luciano

    2015-04-01

    Time series can fruitfully support fire monitoring and management from statistical analysis of fire occurrence (Tuia et al. 2008) to danger estimation (lasaponara 2005), damage evaluation (Lanorte et al 2014) and post fire recovery (Lanorte et al. 2014). In this paper, the time dynamics of SPOT-VEGETATION Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series are analyzed by using the statistical approach of the Fisher-Shannon (FS) information plane to assess and monitor vegetation recovery after fire disturbance. Fisher-Shannon information plane analysis allows us to gain insight into the complex structure of a time series to quantify its degree of organization and order. The analysis was carried out using 10-day Maximum Value Composites of NDVI (MVC-NDVI) with a 1 km × 1 km spatial resolution. The investigation was performed on two test sites located in Galizia (North Spain) and Peloponnese (South Greece), selected for the vast fires which occurred during the summer of 2006 and 2007 and for their different vegetation covers made up mainly of low shrubland in Galizia test site and evergreen forest in Peloponnese. Time series of MVC-NDVI have been analyzed before and after the occurrence of the fire events. Results obtained for both the investigated areas clearly pointed out that the dynamics of the pixel time series before the occurrence of the fire is characterized by a larger degree of disorder and uncertainty; while the pixel time series after the occurrence of the fire are featured by a higher degree of organization and order. In particular, regarding the Peloponneso fire, such discrimination is more evident than in the Galizia fire. This suggests a clear possibility to discriminate the different post-fire behaviors and dynamics exhibited by the different vegetation covers. Reference Lanorte A, R Lasaponara, M Lovallo, L Telesca 2014 Fisher-Shannon information plane analysis of SPOT/VEGETATION Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series to

  7. The national Fire and Fire Surrogate study: effects of fuel reduction methods on forest vegetation structure and fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dylan W. Schwilk; Jon E. Keeley; Eric E. Knapp; James Mciver; John D. Bailey; Christopher J. Fettig; Carl E. Fiedler; Richy J. Harrod; Jason J. Moghaddas; Kenneth W. Outcalt; Carl N. Skinner; Scott L. Stephens; Thomas A. Waldrop; Daniel A. Yaussy; Andrew Youngblood

    2009-01-01

    Changes in vegetation and fuels were evaluated from measurements taken before and after fuel reduction treatments (prescribed fire, mechanical treatments, and the combination of the two) at 12 Fire and Fire Surrogate (FFS) sites located in forests with a surface fire regime across the conterminous United States. To test the relative effectiveness of fuel reduction...

  8. Early Forest Fire Detection Using Low Energy Hydrogen Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jürgen Müller

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The North-east German Lowlands is a region with one of the highest forest fire risks in Europe. In order to keep damage levels as low as possible, it is important to have an effective early warning system. Such a system is being developed on the basis of a hydrogen sensor, which makes it possible to detect a smouldering forest fire before the development of open flames. The prototype hydrogen sensor produced at the Humboldt University Berlin has a metal/ solid electrolyte/insulator/ semiconductor (MEIS structure, which allows cost-effective production. Due to the low energy consumption, an autarchic working unit could be installed in the forest. Field trials have shown that it is possible to identify a forest fire in its early stages when hydrogen concentrations are still low. A significant change in the signal due to a fire was measured at a distance of about 100m. In view of the potential impacts of climate change, the innovative pre-ignition warning system is an important early diagnosis and monitoring module for the protection of the forests.

  9. Modeling forest disturbance and recovery in secondary subtropical dry forests of Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, J. A.; Shugart, H. H., Jr.; Van Bloem, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    Because of human pressures, the need to understand and predict the long-term dynamics of subtropical dry forests is urgent. Through modifications to the ZELIG vegetation demographic model, including the development of species- and site-specific parameters and internal modifications, the capability to predict forest change within the Guanica State Forest in Puerto Rico can now be accomplished. One objective was to test the capability of this new model (i.e. ZELIG-TROP) to predict successional patterns of secondary forests across a gradient of abandoned fields currently being reclaimed as forests. Model simulations found that abandoned fields that are on degraded lands have a delayed response to fully recover and reach a mature forest status during the simulated time period; 200 years. The forest recovery trends matched predictions published in other studies, such that attributes involving early resource acquisition (i.e. canopy height, canopy coverage, density) were the fastest to recover, but attributes used for structural development (i.e. biomass, basal area) were relatively slow in recovery. Biomass and basal area, two attributes that tend to increase during later successional stages, are significantly lower during the first 80-100 years of recovery compared to a mature forest, suggesting that the time scale of resilience in subtropical dry forests needs to be partially redefined. A second objective was to investigate the long and short-term effects of increasing hurricane disturbances on vegetation structure and dynamics, due to hurricanes playing an important role in maintaining dry forest structure in Puerto Rico. Hurricane disturbance simulations within ZELIG-TROP predicted that increasing hurricane intensity (i.e. up to 100% increase) did not lead to a large shift in long-term AGB or NPP. However, increased hurricane frequency did lead to a 5-40% decrease in AGB, and 32-50% increase in NPP, depending on the treatment. In addition, the modeling approach used

  10. Fire history and fire-climate relationships in upper elevation forests of the southwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margolis, Ellis Quinn

    Fire history and fire-climate relationships of upper elevation forests of the southwestern United States are imperative for informing management decisions in the face of increased crown fire occurrence and climate change. I used dendroecological techniques to reconstruct fires and stand-replacing fire patch size in the Madrean Sky Islands and Mogollon Plateau. Reconstructed patch size (1685-1904) was compared with contemporary patch size (1996-2004). Reconstructed fires at three sites had stand-replacing patches totaling > 500 ha. No historical stand-replacing fire patches were evident in the mixed conifer/aspen forests of the Sky Islands. Maximum stand-replacing fire patch size of modern fires (1129 ha) was greater than that reconstructed from aspen (286 ha) and spruce-fir (521 ha). Undated spruce-fir patches may be evidence of larger (>2000ha) stand-replacing fire patches. To provide climatological context for fire history I used correlation and regionalization analyses to document spatial and temporal variability in climate regions, and El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) teleconnections using 273 tree-ring chronologies (1732-1979). Four regions were determined by common variability in annual ring width. The component score time series replicate spatial variability in 20th century droughts (e.g., 1950's) and pluvials (e.g., 1910's). Two regions were significantly correlated with instrumental SOI and AMO, and three with PDO. Sub-regions within the southwestern U.S. varied geographically between the instrumental (1900-1979) and the pre-instrumental periods (1732-1899). Mapped correlations between ENSO, PDO and AMO, and tree-ring indices illustrate detailed sub-regional variability in the teleconnections. I analyzed climate teleconnections, and fire-climate relationships of historical upper elevation fires from 16 sites in 8 mountain ranges. I tested for links between Palmer

  11. Aid for the victims of the forest fires in Greece

    CERN Multimedia

    2007-01-01

    To support the victims of the fires which devastated the Peloponnese at the end of August, the Permanent Mission of Greece in Geneva has informed us that the Greek government has opened an account into which donations may be paid. The funds collected will be used to assist the many victims of these fires. Bank of Greece Account name: Logariasmos Arogis Pyropathon (Hellenic Republic) (account reserved for aid for the victims of the forest fires) SWIFT : BNGRGRAA IBAN : GR 98 0100 0230 0000 0234 1103 053

  12. Relation of weather forecasts to the prediction of dangerous forest fire conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. H. Weidman

    1923-01-01

    The purpose of predicting dangerous forest-fire conditions, of course, is to reduce the great cost and damage caused by forest fires. In the region of Montana and northern Idaho alone the average cost to the United States Forest Service of fire protection and suppression is over $1,000,000 a year. Although the causes of forest fires will gradually be reduced by...

  13. Resistance of mixed subalpine forest to fire frequency changes: the ecological function of dwarf pine (Pinus mugo ssp. mugo)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leys, Bérangère; Carcaillet, Christopher; Blarquez, Olivier; Lami, Andrea; Musazzi, Simona; Trevisan, Renata

    2014-04-01

    The availability of fuel and climate are major factors responsible for forest fire activity over time. Here, we tested the hypothesis that forest ecosystems containing a high shrub biomass, which constitutes a fuel load, and affected by a warmer climate, which is associated with drier conditions and a longer fire season, are more prone to fire. Fire occurrence and woody vegetation histories were reconstructed for a subalpine site (Lago di Colbricon Inferiore) in the Dolomites, part of the eastern Italian Alps, for the past 13,000 years. The modern wet climate prevents fire in this area, in spite of the warm summers and an abundant biomass of dwarf pine (Pinus mugo) and three other conifer tree species (Pinus cembra, Picea abies, and Larix decidua). Past fire history reconstructed from sedimentary charcoal showed a median fire return interval of 140 years (30-735 yr fire-1), with a high variability (SD ± 170 years) throughout the Holocene, suggesting that the past environment was more favourable to fire than the modern one, probably due to a drier climate or to different fuel availability. The subalpine community containing P. mugo remained stable for the past 9000 years, despite the variability of the fire return interval. Interestingly, the fire frequency is higher at Lago di Colbricon than at sites in the western Alps that lack P. mugo, suggesting that this species tolerates fire disturbance. In fact, it probably favours the spread of fire due to its flammable biomass, prostrated form, and dense layering canopy, thus offsetting the influence of the wet climate. Since the 19th century, the removal of dwarf pine to promote subalpine grasslands may have suppressed fires in this region.

  14. Toward a National Early Warning System for Forest Disturbances Using Remotely Sensed Land-Surface Phenology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargrove, W. W.; Spruce, J.

    2010-12-01

    A prototype National Early Warning System (EWS) for Forest Disturbances was established in 2010 by producing national maps showing potential forest disturbance across the conterminous United States at 231m resolution every 8 days. Each map is based on Land-Surface Phenology (LSP), calculated using temporally smoothed MODIS MOD13 imagery obtained over the preceding 24-day analysis window. Potential disturbance maps are generated by comparing a spatially and temporally specific historical expectation of normal NDVI "greenness" with NDVI "greenness" from a series of current satellite views. Three different disturbance products are produced using differing lengths of historical baseline periods to calculate the expected normal greenness. The short-term baseline products show only disturbances newer than one year ago, while the intermediate baseline products show disturbances since the prior three years, and the long-term baseline products show all disturbances over the MODIS historical period. A Forest Change Assessment Viewer website, http://ews.forestthreats.org/NPDE/NPDE.html, showcases the three most recent national disturbance maps in full spatial context. Although 2010 was a wet el Nino year without major forest problems, disturbances in 2010 in MI, NY, CO and LA will be highlighted. Forest disturbances caused by wildfire, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, ice storms, and defoliating insects, including fall cankerworms, forest tent caterpillars, gypsy moths, baldcypress leafrollers and winter moths were successfully detected during the 2009 and 2010 field seasons. The EWS was used in 2010 to detect and alert Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) Aerial Disturbance Survey personnel to an otherwise-unknown outbreak of forest tent caterpillar and baldcypress leafroller in the Atchafalaya and Pearl River regions of southern Louisiana. A local FHM Program Coordinator verified these EWS-detected outbreaks. Many defoliator-induced disturbances were ephemeral, and were followed by

  15. Patterns of diversity and regeneration in unmanaged moist deciduous forests in response to disturbance in Shiwalik Himalayas, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mukesh Kumar Gautam

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available We studied vegetation attributes in Indian tropical moist deciduous unmanaged forests to determine the influence of forest disturbances on them. We enumerated 89 species: 72 under moderate disturbance and 54 under least disturbance. The data from 3399 stems [>5 cm diameter at breast height (dbh] decreased linearly along the disturbance gradient. The basal area was largest in least disturbed forests (61 m2/ha and smallest in intensely disturbed forest (41 m2/ha. Under least and moderate disturbance, tree density-diameter distribution had negative exponential curves, whereas highly disturbed forests had unimodal-shaped curves where a few trees 5–10 cm and >50 cm in diameter were recorded. Most tree and shrub layer species under heavy and intense disturbance had impaired regeneration. Moderate disturbance intensity thus apparently benefits species diversity, stand density, and regeneration. Decline in seedlings and saplings, especially tree species, threaten forest regeneration and the maintenance of species diversity of unmanaged tropical forests.

  16. Twenty Years After the 1988 Yellowstone Fires: Lessons About Disturbance and Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romme, W.H.; Boyce, M.S.; Gresswell, R.; Merrill, E.H.; Minshall, G.W.; Whitlock, C.; Turner, M.G.

    2011-01-01

    The 1988 Yellowstone fires were among the first in what has proven to be an upsurge in large severe fires in the western USA during the past 20 years. At the time of the fires, little was known about the impacts of such a large severe disturbance because scientists had had few previous opportunities to study such an event. Ecologists predicted short- and long-term effects of the 1988 fires on vegetation, biogeochemistry, primary productivity, wildlife, and aquatic ecosystems based on scientific understanding of the time. Twenty-plus years of subsequent study allow these early predictions to be evaluated. Most of the original predictions were at least partially supported, but some predictions were refuted, others nuanced, and a few postfire phenomena were entirely unexpected. Post-1988 Yellowstone studies catalyzed advances in ecology focused on the importance of spatial and temporal heterogeneity, contingent influences, and multiple interacting drivers. Post-1988 research in Yellowstone also has changed public perceptions of fire as an ecological process and attitudes towards fire management. Looking ahead to projected climate change and more frequent large fires, the well-documented ecological responses to the 1988 Yellowstone fires provide a foundation for detecting and evaluating potential changes in fire regimes of temperate mountainous regions. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  17. Increasing forest disturbances in Europe and their impact on carbon storage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seidl, R.; Schelhaas, M.; Rammer, W.; Verkerk, P.J.

    2014-01-01

    Disturbances from wind, bark beetles and wildfires have increased in Europe’s forests throughout the twentieth century(1). Climatic changes were identified as a key driver behind this increase(2), yet how the expected continuation of climate change will affect Europe’s forest disturbance regime

  18. Influence of environment, disturbance, and ownership on forest vegetation of coastal Oregon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.L. Ohmann; M.J. Gregory; T.A. Spies

    2007-01-01

    We used spatial predictions from gradient models to examine the influence of environment, disturbance, and ownership on patterns of forest vegetation biodiversity across a large forested region, the Oregon Coast Range (USA). Gradients in tree species composition were strongly associated with physical environment, especially climate, and insensitive to disturbance. In...

  19. Effects of biotic disturbances on forest carbon cycling in the United States and Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey A. Hicke; Craig D. Allen; Ankur R. Desai; Michael C. Dietze; Ronald J. Hall; Edward H. Hogg; Daniel M. Kashian; David Moore; Kenneth F. Raffa; Rona N. Sturrock; James. Vogelmann

    2011-01-01

    Forest insects and pathogens are major disturbance agents that have affected millions of hectares in North America in recent decades, implying significant impacts to the carbon (C) cycle. Here, we review and synthesize published studies of the effects of biotic disturbances on forest C cycling in the United States and Canada. Primary productivity in stands was reduced...

  20. Managing forest disturbances and community responses: lessons from the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtney G. Flint; Richard. Haynes

    2006-01-01

    Managing forest disturbances can be complicated by diverse human community responses. Interview and quantitative analysis of mail surveys were used to assess risk perceptions and community actions in response to forest disturbance by spruce bark beetles. Despite high risk perception of immediate threats to personal safety and property, risk perceptions of broader...

  1. Forest disturbances trigger erosion controlled fluxes of nitrogen, phosphorus and dissolved carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marek Matyjasik; Gretchen Moisen; Todd A. Schroeder; Tracy Frescino; Michael Hernandez

    2015-01-01

    The initial phase of the research that addressed correlation between annual forest disturbance maps produced from LANDSAT images and water quality and flow data indicate that forest disturbances in conjunction with intense atmospheric precipitation commonly trigger fluxes of several chemical constituents, such as nitrogen, phosphorus carbon. These fluxes appear to be...

  2. Post-fire surface fuel dynamics in California forests across three burn severity classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianca N. I. Eskelson; Vicente J. Monleon

    2018-01-01

    Forest wildfires consume fuel and are followed by post-fire fuel accumulation. This study examines post-fire surface fuel dynamics over 9 years across a wide range of conditions characteristic of California fires in dry conifer and hardwood forests. We estimated post-fire surface fuel loadings (Mg ha _1) from 191 repeatedly measured United States...

  3. Increasing resiliency in frequent fire forests: Lessons from the Sierra Nevada and western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott L. Stephens

    2014-01-01

    This paper will primarily focus on the management and restoration of forests adapted to frequent, low-moderate intensity fire regimes. These are the forest types that are most at risk from large, high-severity wildfires and in many regions their fire regimes are changing. Fire as a landscape process can exhibit self-limiting characteristics in some forests which can...

  4. Carbon consequences of droughts, fires, bark beetles, and harvests affecting forests of the United States: comparative analysis and synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, C. A.; Ghimire, B.; Schwalm, C.; Collatz, G. J.; Masek, J. G.

    2012-12-01

    Weather and climate extremes and ecosystem disturbances can profoundly alter the structure and function of forests with long lasting carbon legacies. The nature of these legacies varies with disturbance severity and type. The associated complexity presents a significant challenge in assessing the current state of the global carbon cycle. Here we offer a detailed comparative analysis of the unique carbon legacies following severe droughts, fires, insect outbreaks, and harvest disturbances affecting forests of the United States. We document the frequency of each disturbance type over the past three decades, explore their trends and interannual variability, illustrate their regional spatial distributions, and discuss how these agents of change combine to influence the U.S. carbon budget now and into the future. We also identify observational approaches for addressing key uncertainties.

  5. Multifractal analysis of forest fires in complex regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega Orozco, C. D.; Kanevski, M.; Golay, J.; Tonini, M.; Conedera, M.

    2012-04-01

    Forest fires can be studied as point processes where the ignition points represent the set of locations of the observed events in a defined study region. Their spatial and temporal patterns can be characterized by their fractal properties; which quantify the global aspect of the geometry of the support data. However, a monofractal dimension can not completely describe the pattern structure and related scaling properties. Enhancements in fractal theory had developed the multifractal concept which describes the measures from which interlinked fractal sets can be retrieved and characterized by their fractal dimension and singularity strength [1, 2]. The spatial variability of forest fires is conditioned by an intermixture of human, topographic, meteorological and vegetation factors. This heterogeneity makes fire patterns complex scale-invariant processes difficult to be depicted by a single scale. Therefore, this study proposes an exploratory data analysis through a multifractal formalism to characterize and quantify the multiscaling behaviour of the spatial distribution pattern of this phenomenon in a complex region like the Swiss Alps. The studied dataset is represented by 2,401 georeferenced forest fire ignition points in canton Ticino, Switzerland, in a 40-years period from 1969 to 2008. Three multifractal analyses are performed: one assesses the multiscaling behaviour of fire occurrence probability of the support data (raw data) and four random patterns simulated within three different support domains; second analysis studies the multifractal behavior of patterns from anthropogenic and natural ignited fires (arson-, accident- and lightning-caused fires); and third analysis aims at detecting scale-dependency of the size of burned area. To calculate the generalized dimensions, Dq, a generalization of the box counting methods is carried out based on the generalization of Rényi information of the qth order moment of the probability distribution. For q > 0, Dq

  6. Vegetation recovery following fire and harvest disturbance in central Labrador — a landscape perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian Miranda; Brian R. Sturtevant; Isabelle Schmelzer; Frederik Doyon; Peter Wolter

    2016-01-01

    Understanding vegetation recovery patterns following wildfire and logging disturbance is essential for long-term planning in sustainable forestry. Plot-scale studies indicate differences in revegetation rates and postdisturbance composition in Labrador, Canada, following fire in comparison with harvest but do not necessarily capture the...

  7. Static and dynamic controls on fire activity at moderate spatial and temporal scales in the Alaskan boreal forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Kirsten; Loboda, Tatiana; McGuire, A. David; Genet, Hélène; Hoy, Elizabeth; Kasischke, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Wildfire, a dominant disturbance in boreal forests, is highly variable in occurrence and behavior at multiple spatiotemporal scales. New data sets provide more detailed spatial and temporal observations of active fires and the post-burn environment in Alaska. In this study, we employ some of these new data to analyze variations in fire activity by developing three explanatory models to examine the occurrence of (1) seasonal periods of elevated fire activity using the number of MODIS active fire detections data set (MCD14DL) within an 11-day moving window, (2) unburned patches within a burned area using the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity fire severity product, and (3) short-to-moderate interval (static variables that remain constant over a fire season, such as topography, drainage, vegetation cover, and fire history. We found that seasonal periods of high fire activity are associated with both seasonal timing and aggregated weather conditions, as well as the landscape composition of areas that are burning. Important static inputs to the model of seasonal fire activity indicate that when fire weather conditions are suitable, areas that typically resist fire (e.g., deciduous stands) may become more vulnerable to burning and therefore less effective as fire breaks. The occurrence of short-to-moderate interval fires appears to be primarily driven by weather conditions, as these were the only relevant explanatory variables in the model. The unique importance of weather in explaining short-to-moderate interval fires implies that fire return intervals (FRIs) will be sensitive to projected climate changes in the region. Unburned patches occur most often in younger stands, which may be related to a greater deciduous fraction of vegetation as well as lower fuel loads compared with mature stands. The fraction of unburned patches may therefore increase in response to decreasing FRIs and increased deciduousness in the region, or these may decrease if fire weather conditions

  8. Impacts of shifting fire regime on ecosystem carbon storage capacity in the interior Alaskan forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, D.; Kelly, R.; Hu, F.; Luo, Y.

    2012-12-01

    Fire is the primary disturbance in the boreal forest, and variations in fire regimes have important ecological, biogeochemical, and socioeconomic implications. Recent widespread burning throughout the biome has been convincingly linked to climatic warming, with expectations of increased burning with future climate change. However, fire-regime dynamics are scale-dependent, and it is unclear whether empirical climate-fire relationships derived from the short observational record are applicable to future projections. Paleo-fire reconstructions offer a valuable extension to historical fire records by providing a context for ongoing change and offering insights to the causes and consequences of fire regime shifts over decades to millennia. The main objectives of this study are to address 1) how fire regime shift impacts ecosystem C dynamics at a millennial time scale; and 2) which factor is more important in regulating the dynamics of ecosystem C storage capacity at decades to millennium scales among fire, CO2 and temperature. In this study, the REGIME model (Weng et al. JGR, 2012) has been modified to evaluate the dynamics of ecosystem C storage capacity (the theoretic capacity of an ecosystem to store C) since 3000 years BP for the black spruce forests in interior Alaska under the influence of changing fire regime, rising atmospheric CO2 concentration, and climate warming, all of which were derived from paleo-data. In addition, C storage capacity was also modeled through the 21 century using IPCC scenarios for CO2 and temperature, and fire regime scenario derived based on a paleo-fire dataset. Overall, fire frequency has been constant but fire severity has increased significantly since 3000 years BP for the studied area. Our results indicate that this fire regime shifting alone or in combination with temperature and/or CO2 always decrease ecosystem C storage capacity over the past 3000 years. Among the single factors, fire regime shifting results in the greatest

  9. Fire-induced surface forcing of the Siberian larch forests since 2000 in the context of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, D.; Loboda, T. V.; He, T.; Zhang, Y.; Liang, S.

    2017-12-01

    The Siberian larch forests are a major component of the global boreal biome with wildfire being the most important disturbance agent. However, due to their unique characteristics and remote location, coupled with a limited record of remotely sensed datasets, we know little about the post-fire albedo dynamics in the region as well as the associated climatic impact, especially over a relatively longer temporal span at the regional scale. This is unfortunate as it has been suggested that the fire-induced albedo changes may have a pivotal role in controlling the net climatic impact of the boreal forests. Utilizing a 30-m 24-year stand age distribution map of the Siberian larch forests, combined with the full record of the MODIS albedo product, this study quantified the surface forcing induced by stand-replacing fires in the Siberian larch forests over 2001-2015. The results show that the larch forests experienced stand-replacing fires in the region has a cooling effect lasting for more than 25 years, and the magnitude of the cooling (-9.60 ± 0.03 Wm-2) is much larger than previously expected. Due to the strong cooling of stand-replacing fires, coupled with their wide distribution, the net surface forcing of the Siberian larch forests between 2001 and 2013 is negative (-0.78 Wm-2). In contrast, the forests that did not experience stand-replacing fires since 2000 show a warming effect, which is largely attributable to a lengthening of snow-free duration in the region. These results together indicate that wildfire may play a much bigger role in modulating the climatic impact of the Siberian larch forests than we previously thought, but this role is likely weakened by the considerable warming in the region, thus needs to be evaluated in the context of global climate change.

  10. Historical Susceptibility of Forest Fires in the Carajas Region, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conceicao, M. C.; Rodrigues, R. A.; Cordeiro, R. C.; Barbosa, M. R.; Santos, D. D.; Turcq, B. J.; Seoane, J. S.; Sifeddine, A.

    2008-12-01

    The Carajas Region in the Para state, nowadays keeps a vast area of forests protected by Units of Conservation and Indigenous Land. Despite the efforts and investments done by private companies and government agencies to prevent forest fires, they are still registered, being one of the major factors of degradation of forests, flora and fauna. Thus there is a need to improve the understanding of these burning processes at present, and its evolution in different time scales, which allows comparison between patterns of fire occurrences related to climate and human reasons. This study aims to assess the evolution of the climate of Carajas region along the Quaternary, with emphasis on natural occurrence of fires related to historical events palaeoclimatic. For this a sediment core of a lake with 450 cm of depth was collected. Chronology is being determined by the radiocarbon method. Ours specific objectives are quantify and qualify the source of sedimentary material, determine concentrations of biogenic elements and minerals, through granulometric and mineralogical analyses and of quality and quantity of organic matter through the establishment of elementary (the C/N) and isotopic ratios (ä13C and ä15N). The dimensions of processes linked to the biomass burning will be determined by quantifying of charcoal fragments resulting from fires through microscopic analysis. This seeks to reconstruct the environmental scene and paleoclimatics conditions related to events of biomass burning, demonstrating the susceptibility of this historic region to the occurrence of fires according to the different climate stages identified.

  11. Forest fires are changing: let’s change the fire management strategy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bovio G

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Forest fires in Italy are changing. More frequent heatwaves and drought increase the flammability of the vegetation; the abandonment of rural land produces 30.000 ha of newly afforested areas each year; and the wildland-urban interface is expanding with the sprawl of urbanized areas. However, forest fires are rarely understood and managed in their complexity. The public opinion is often misinformed on the causes and consequences of fires in the forest. Moreover, fire management relies almost exclusively on extinction and emergency response, resulting in high costs and limited efficacy versus extreme fire seasons. We advocate to increase the role and investments in wildfire prevention, which can be carried out by fuel-oriented silviculture, such as facilitating less flammable species or prescribed burning, in order to reduce the flammability of the vegetation and mitigate fire intensity in high-leverage areas. A centralized structure is necessary to implement such a strategy and coordinate the competences and actions of all local administrations and actors involved.

  12. Economic efficiency of fire management programs at six National Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennis L. Schweitzer; Ernest V. Andersen; Thomas J. Mills

    1982-01-01

    Two components of fire management programs were analyzed at these Forests: Francis Marion (South Carolina), Huron-Manistee (Michigan), San Bernardino (California), Tonto (Arizona), and Deschutes and Willamette (Oregon). Initial attack and aviation operations were evaluated by the criterion of minimizing the program cost plus the net value change of resource outputs and...

  13. Spatiotemporal distribution patterns of forest fires in northern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustavo Pérez-Verdin; M. A. Márquez-Linares; A. Cortes-Ortiz; M. Salmerón-Macias

    2013-01-01

    Using the 2000-2011 CONAFOR databases, a spatiotemporal analysis of the occurrence of forest fires in Durango, one of the most affected States in Mexico, was conducted. The Moran's index was used to determine a spatial distribution pattern; also, an analysis of seasonal and temporal autocorrelation of the data collected was completed. The geographically weighted...

  14. Review of methods for modelling forest fire risk and hazard

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    monitoring methods because ofits repetitive andconsistent coverage over large areas of land (Martin et al., 1999). .... situations however, precipitation does not follow this rule. A similar use of elevation factor for forest fire estimation .... point in the formulation of an emergency plan. In carrying out the risk assessment it will be ...

  15. Limited Edge Effects Along a Burned-Unburned Bornean Forest Boundary Seven Years after Disturbance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slik, J.W.F.; Beek, van M.; Bernard, C.; Bongers, F.; Breman, F.C.; Cannon, C.H.; Sidiyasa, K.

    2011-01-01

    Large parts of the everwet tropics have been burned, leaving many unburned–burned forest edges. Here we studied a Bornean forest edge to determine: (1) how unburned and burned forest differ in vegetation structure, diversity, composition and plant functional traits 7 yr after fire, and (2) if these

  16. Production and Transport of Ozone From Boreal Forest Fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarasick, David; Liu, Jane; Osman, Mohammed; Sioris, Christopher; Liu, Xiong; Najafabadi, Omid; Parrington, Mark; Palmer, Paul; Strawbridge, Kevin; Duck, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    In the summer of 2010, the BORTAS (Quantifying the impact of BOReal forest fires on Tropospheric oxidants over the Atlantic using Aircraft and Satellites) mission was planned by several universities and government agencies in the United Kingdom, Canada, and USA. Nearly 100 ozone soundings were made at 13 stations through the BORTAS Intensive Sounding Network, although aircraft measurements were unfortunately cancelled due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland. 2010 was actually an exceptional year for Canadian boreal fires. MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) fire count data shows large fire events in Saskatchewan on several days in July. High amounts of NO2 close to the large fires are observed from OMI satellite data, indicating that not all NO2 is converted to PAN. Also associated with the fires, large amounts of CO, another precursor of ozone, are observed in MOPITT (Measurements Of Pollution In The Troposphere), AIRS and TES (Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer) satellite data in the middle to upper troposphere. These chemical conditions combined with sunny weather all favour ozone production. Following days with large fire activity, layers of elevated ozone mixing ratio (over 100 ppbv) are observed downwind at several sites. Back-trajectories suggest the elevated ozone in the profile is traceable to the fires in Saskatchewan. Lidar profiles also detect layers of aerosol at the same heights. However, the layers of high ozone are also associated with low humidity, which is not expected from a combustion source, and suggests the possibility of entrainment of stratospheric air.

  17. Contemporary climate variability and forest fires in Deliblatska pescara

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dučić Vladan

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Considering the actual scenario of contemporary global climate changes and their possible influence on forest fires, the connections between temperature changes and precipitations on fires have been examined in Deliblatska pescara. The basic characteristics of fires have been analyzed in the area which is considered the most endangered in Serbia. The decreasing trend of annual number of fires was ascertained for period the 1948-2002. However, the trend of annual temperature and precipitation changes is not in accordance with the trend of annual number of fires. Some seasonal aspects related with the change of climate elements cannot also explain the decreasing number of fires. A rising trend of annual fire spread surface have been ascertained, which is in accordance with air temperature rise at the end of the 20th century. However, five extreme values were far above the upper standard deviation, which was explained by non climate factors (increase of surface under pine trees, mistakes during fire extinguishing and similar.

  18. Salvage logging following fires can minimize boreal caribou habitat loss while maintaining forest quotas: An example of compensatory cumulative effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beguin, Julien; McIntire, Eliot J B; Raulier, Frédéric

    2015-11-01

    Protected area networks are the dominant conservation approach that is used worldwide for protecting biodiversity. Conservation planning in managed forests, however, presents challenges when endangered species use old-growth forests targeted by the forest industry for timber supply. In many ecosystems, this challenge is further complicated by the occurrence of natural disturbance events that disrupt forest attributes at multiple scales. Using spatially explicit landscape simulation experiments, we gather insights into how these large scale, multifaceted processes (fire risk, timber harvesting and the amount of protected area) influenced both the persistence of the threatened boreal caribou and the level of timber supply in the boreal forest of eastern Canada. Our result showed that failure to account explicitly and a priori for fire risk in the calculation of timber supply led to an overestimation of timber harvest volume, which in turn led to rates of cumulative disturbances that threatened both the long-term persistence of boreal caribou and the sustainability of the timber supply itself. Salvage logging, however, allowed some compensatory cumulative effects. It minimised the reductions of timber supply within a range of ∼10% while reducing the negative impact of cumulative disturbances caused by fire and logging on caribou. With the global increase of the human footprint on forest ecosystems, our approach and results provide useful tools and insights for managers to resolve what often appear as lose-lose situation between the persistence of species at risk and timber harvest in other forest ecosystems. These tools contribute to bridge the gap between conservation and forest management, two disciplines that remain too often disconnected in practice. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Evaluating the coupled vegetation-fire model, LPJ-GUESS-SPITFIRE, against observed tropical forest biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spessa, Allan; Forrest, Matthew; Werner, Christian; Steinkamp, Joerg; Hickler, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    disturbance such as fire. SPITFIRE (SPread and InTensity of FIRe and Emissions) mechanistically simulates the number of fires, area burnt, fire intensity, crown fires, fire-induced plant mortality, and emissions of carbon, trace gases and aerosols from biomass burning. Originally developed as an embedded model within LPJ-DGVM, SPITFIRE has since been coupled to LPJ-GUESS. However, neither LPJ-DGVM-SPITFIRE nor LPJ-GUESS-SPITFIRE has been fully benchmarked, especially in terms of how well each model simulates vegetation patterns and biomass in areas where fire is known to be important. This information is crucial if we are to have confidence in the models in forecasting fire, emissions from biomass burning and fire-climate impacts on ecosystems. Here we report on the benchmarking of the LPJ-GUESS-SPITFIRE model. We benchmarked LPJ-GUESS-SPITFIRE driven by a combination of daily reanalysis climate data (Sheffield 2012), monthly GFEDv3 burnt area data (1997-2009) (van der Werf et al. 2010) and long-term annual fire statistics (1901 to 2000) (Mouillot and Field 2005) against new Lidar-based biomass data for tropical forests and savannas (Saatchi et al. 2011; Baccini et al., 2012). Our new work has focused on revising the way GUESS simulates tree allometry, light penetration through the tree canopy and sapling recruitment, and how GUESS-SPITFIRE simulates fire-induced mortality, all based on recent literature, as well as a more explicit accounting of land cover change (JRC's GLC 2009). We present how these combined changes result in a much improved simulation of tree carbon across the tropics, including the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia. Our results are compared with respect to more empirical-based approaches to calculating emissions from biomass burning. We discuss our findings in terms of improved forecasting of fire, emissions from biomass burning and fire-climate impacts on ecosystems.

  20. Human-Induced Disturbance Alters Pollinator Communities in Tropical Mountain Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Schleuning

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Mountain forest ecosystems in the Andes are threatened by deforestation. Increasing fire frequencies lead to fire-degraded habitats that are often characterized by a persistent fern-dominated vegetation. Little is known about the consequences of these drastic changes in habitat conditions for pollinator communities. In a rapid diversity assessment, we collected individuals of two major groups of insect pollinators (bees and butterflies/moths with pan traps and compared pollinator diversities in a spatial block design between forest interior, forest edge and adjacent fire-degraded habitats at eight sites in the Bolivian Andes. We found that bee species richness and abundance were significantly higher in fire-degraded habitats than in forest habitats, whereas species richness and abundance of butterflies/moths increased towards the forests interior. Species turnover between forest and fire-degraded habitats was very high for both pollinator groups and was reflected by an increase in the body size of bee species and a decrease in the body size of butterfly/moth species in fire-degraded habitats. We conclude that deforestation by frequent fires has profound impacts on the diversity and composition of pollinator communities. Our tentative findings suggest shifts towards bee-dominated pollinator communities in fire-degraded habitats that may have important feedbacks on the regenerating communities of insect-pollinated plant species.

  1. Modelling forest carbon stock changes as affected by harvest and natural disturbances. II. EU-level analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Pilli

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Forests and the forest sector may play an important role in mitigating climate change. The Paris Agreement and the recent legislative proposal to include the land use sector in the EU 2030 climate targets reflect this expectation. However, greater confidence on estimates from national greenhouse gas inventories (GHGI and more comprehensive analyses of mitigation options are needed to seize this mitigation potential. The aim of this paper is to provide a tool at EU level for verifying the EU GHGI and for simulating specific policy and forest management scenarios. Therefore, the Carbon Budget Model (CBM was applied for an integrated assessment of the EU forest carbon (C balance from 2000 to 2012, including: (i estimates of the C stock and net CO2 emissions for forest management (FM, afforestation/reforestation (AR and deforestation (D, covering carbon in both the forest and the harvest wood product (HWP pools; (ii an overall analysis of the C dynamics associated with harvest and natural disturbances (mainly storms and fires; (iii a comparison of our estimates with the data reported in the EU GHGI. Results Overall, the average annual FM sink (−365 Mt CO2 year−1 estimated by the CBM in the period 2000–2012 corresponds to about 7 % of total GHG emissions at the EU level for the same period (excluding land use, land-use change and forestry. The HWP pool sink (−44 Mt CO2 year−1 contributes an additional 1 %. Emissions from D (about 33 Mt CO2 year−1 are more than compensated by the sink in AR (about 43 Mt CO2 year−1 over the period. For FM, the estimates from the CBM were about 8 % lower than the EU GHGI, a value well within the typical uncertainty range of the EU forest sink estimates. For AR and D the match with the EU GHGI was nearly perfect (difference <±2 % in the period 2008–2012. Our analysis on harvest and natural disturbances shows that: (i the impact of harvest is much greater than natural disturbances

  2. Multi-stage approach to estimate forest biomass in degraded area by fire and selective logging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, E. G.; Shimabukuro, Y. E.; Arai, E.; Duarte, V.; Jorge, A.; Gasparini, K.

    2017-12-01

    The Amazon forest has been the target of several threats throughout the years. Anthropogenic disturbances in the region can significantly alter this environment, affecting directly the dynamics and structure of tropical forests. Monitoring these threats of forest degradation across the Amazon is of paramount to understand the impacts of disturbances in the tropics. With the advance of new technologies such as Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) the quantification and development of methodologies to monitor forest degradation in the Amazon is possible and may bring considerable contributions to this topic. The objective of this study was to use remote sensing data to assess and estimate the aboveground biomass (AGB) across different levels of degradation (fire and selective logging) using multi-stage approach between airborne LiDAR and orbital image. The study area is in the northern part of the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. It is predominantly characterized by agricultural land and remnants of the Amazon Forest intact and degraded by either anthropic or natural reasons (selective logging and/or fire). More specifically, the study area corresponds to path/row 226/69 of OLI/Landsat 8 image. With a forest mask generated from the multi-resolution segmentation, agriculture and forest areas, forest biomass was calculated from LiDAR data and correlated with texture images, vegetation indices and fraction images by Linear Spectral Unmixing of OLI/Landsat 8 image and extrapolated to the entire scene 226/69 and validated with field inventories. The results showed that there is a moderate to strong correlation between forest biomass and texture data, vegetation indices and fraction images. With that, it is possible to extract biomass information and create maps using optical data, specifically by combining vegetation indices, which contain forest greening information with texture data that contains forest structure information. Then it was possible to extrapolate the biomass

  3. Remote Sensing Techniques in Monitoring Post-Fire Effects and Patterns of Forest Recovery in Boreal Forest Regions: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thuan Chu

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The frequency and severity of forest fires, coupled with changes in spatial and temporal precipitation and temperature patterns, are likely to severely affect the characteristics of forest and permafrost patterns in boreal eco-regions. Forest fires, however, are also an ecological factor in how forest ecosystems form and function, as they affect the rate and characteristics of tree recruitment. A better understanding of fire regimes and forest recovery patterns in different environmental and climatic conditions will improve the management of sustainable forests by facilitating the process of forest resilience. Remote sensing has been identified as an effective tool for preventing and monitoring forest fires, as well as being a potential tool for understanding how forest ecosystems respond to them. However, a number of challenges remain before remote sensing practitioners will be able to better understand the effects of forest fires and how vegetation responds afterward. This article attempts to provide a comprehensive review of current research with respect to remotely sensed data and methods used to model post-fire effects and forest recovery patterns in boreal forest regions. The review reveals that remote sensing-based monitoring of post-fire effects and forest recovery patterns in boreal forest regions is not only limited by the gaps in both field data and remotely sensed data, but also the complexity of far-northern fire regimes, climatic conditions and environmental conditions. We expect that the integration of different remotely sensed data coupled with field campaigns can provide an important data source to support the monitoring of post-fire effects and forest recovery patterns. Additionally, the variation and stratification of pre- and post-fire vegetation and environmental conditions should be considered to achieve a reasonable, operational model for monitoring post-fire effects and forest patterns in boreal regions.

  4. Climate, herbivory, and fire controls on tropical African forest for the last 60ka

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivory, Sarah J.; Russell, James

    2016-09-01

    The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in Africa was drier than today and was followed by rapid step-wise climate changes during the last deglacial period. In much of Africa, these changes led to a drastic reduction of lowland forest area during the LGM, followed by recolonization of the lowlands by forest and woodland in concert with regional warming and wetting. However, the history of southeastern African vegetation contrasts with that observed further north. In particular, forest expansion appears to have occurred in southeastern Africa during episodes of high-latitude northern hemisphere cooling. Although vegetation history in Africa is generally assumed to relate purely to climate, previous studies have not addressed potential feedbacks between climate, vegetation, and disturbance regimes (fire, herbivory) that may create tipping points in ecosystems. This climate-vegetation history has profound implications for our understanding of the modern architecture of lowland and highland forests, both thought to be at risk from future climate change. Here we present analyses of fossil pollen, charcoal, and Sporormiella (dung fungus) on a continuous 60 kyr record from central Lake Tanganyika, Southeast Africa, that illustrates the interplay of climate and disturbance regimes in shaping vegetation composition and structure. We observe that extensive forests dominated the region during the last glacial period despite evidence of decreased rainfall. At the end of the LGM, forest opening at ∼17.5 ka followed warming temperatures but preceded rising precipitation, suggesting that temperature-induced water stress and disturbance from fire and herbivory affected initial landscape transformation. Our Sporormiella record indicates that mega-herbivore populations increased at the early Holocene. This higher animal density increased plant species richness and encouraged landscape heterogeneity until the mid-Holocene. At this time, regional drying followed by the onset of the Iron Age

  5. Aeolian Dust and Forest Fire Smoke in Urban Air

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brimblecombe, P.

    2006-12-01

    Particles of aeolian dust and forest fire smoke are now regularly detected in urban air. Although dusts are common on the Asian Pacific Rim and forest fire smoke characteristic of South East Asia they also frequently detected elsewhere. In the past dust was treated as though it was fairly inert and reactions on the surface limited to the neutralizing ability of alkaline minerals. More recent work shows that that dust has a complex organic chemistry. Observations in China found fatty acids from urban areas (oleic acid and linoleic acid from cooking) on dust derived aerosols. The fatty acids and PAHs decreased sharply after dust storms, suggesting a role for dust in removal processes. When silica particles absorb unsaturated compounds they can react with ozone and release compounds such as formaldehyde. Particles from forest fires have a similarly complex chemistry and the acid-alkaline balance may vary depend on the balance of removal rates of alkaline materials (ammonia, potassium carbonate) and inorganic and organic acids. Airborne dust and forest fire soot can contain humic like substances (HULIS) either as primary material or as secondary oxidation products of the surface of soot. This paper will report on the role polluted air masses in the generation humic materials, particularly those that are surface active. These materials of high molecular weight oxygen rich organic compounds, which exhibit a range of properties of importance in aerosols: they can form complexes with metal ions and thus enhance their solubility, photosensitize the oxidation of organic compounds and lower the surface tension of aqueous aerosols. HULIS can be oxidized to form a range of simpler acids such as formic, acetic and oxalic acid. Dust and forest fire smoke particles have a different composition and size range to that of typical urban combustion particles, so it is likely that the health impacts will be different, yet current regulation often does not recognize any significant

  6. Mapping Canopy Damage from Understory Fires in Amazon Forests Using Annual Time Series of Landsat and MODIS Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Douglas C.; DeFries, Ruth S.; Nagol, Jyoteshwar; Souza, Carlos M., Jr.; Kasischke, Eric S.; Hurtt, George C.; Dubayah, Ralph

    2011-01-01

    Understory fires in Amazon forests alter forest structure, species composition, and the likelihood of future disturbance. The annual extent of fire-damaged forest in Amazonia remains uncertain due to difficulties in separating burning from other types of forest damage in satellite data. We developed a new approach, the Burn Damage and Recovery (BDR) algorithm, to identify fire-related canopy damages using spatial and spectral information from multi-year time series of satellite data. The BDR approach identifies understory fires in intact and logged Amazon forests based on the reduction and recovery of live canopy cover in the years following fire damages and the size and shape of individual understory burn scars. The BDR algorithm was applied to time series of Landsat (1997-2004) and MODIS (2000-2005) data covering one Landsat scene (path/row 226/068) in southern Amazonia and the results were compared to field observations, image-derived burn scars, and independent data on selective logging and deforestation. Landsat resolution was essential for detection of burn scars less than 50 ha, yet these small burns contributed only 12% of all burned forest detected during 1997-2002. MODIS data were suitable for mapping medium (50-500 ha) and large (greater than 500 ha) burn scars that accounted for the majority of all fire-damaged forest in this study. Therefore, moderate resolution satellite data may be suitable to provide estimates of the extent of fire-damaged Amazon forest at a regional scale. In the study region, Landsat-based understory fire damages in 1999 (1508 square kilometers) were an order of magnitude higher than during the 1997-1998 El Nino event (124 square kilometers and 39 square kilometers, respectively), suggesting a different link between climate and understory fires than previously reported for other Amazon regions. The results in this study illustrate the potential to address critical questions concerning climate and fire risk in Amazon forests by

  7. Droughts and forest fires in Mediterranean Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turco, Marco; Llasat, Maria-Carmen; von Hardenberg, Jost; Provenzale, Antonello

    2015-04-01

    Most of the total burned area in Europe occurs in Mediterranean regions, with severe economic and environmental damage, life loss and an average of about 4500 km2 burned every year. A better understanding of the impacts on wildfires of environmental and socioeconomic changes is crucial to develop adequate measures of prevention, adaptation and mitigation in this area. Here we focus on the impact of droughts on fires in European Mediterranean regions (Portugal, Spain, the south of France, Italy, Greece). This goal will be achieved through three specific supporting objectives: (1) Understanding past changes in fires in this region (extending the study of [1]); (2) Comparing and analyzing different drought indices (e.g. SPI, SPEI and SSI; see [2, 3] for more details on those indices); (3) Modeling the interaction between drought and fires (following and extending the study of [4]). We develop relatively simple regression models that link the fire activity to the key climate drivers. These models could be used to estimate fire responses to different climate change projections and environmental and socioeconomic scenarios ([5]). *References [1] Turco M., Llasat M. C., Tudela A., Castro X., and Provenzale A. Brief communication Decreasing fires in a Mediterranean region (1970-2010, NE Spain). Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 13(3):649-652, 2013. [2] Zengchao H., AghaKouchak A., Nakhjiri N., and Farahmand A. Global Integrated Drought Monitoring and Prediction System. Scientific Data, 1:1-10, 2014. [3] Vicente-Serrano, S. M., Beguería, S. and López-Moreno, J. I. A multiscalar drought index sensitive to global warming: The standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index. Journal of Climate, 23:1696-1718, 2010. [4] Turco M., Llasat M. C., von Hardenberg J., and Provenzale A. Impact of climate variability on summer fires in a Mediterranean environment (northeastern Iberian Peninsula). Climatic Change, 116:665-678, 2013. [5] Turco M., Llasat M. C., von

  8. Climatic stress increases forest fire severity across the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Mantgem, Philip J.; Nesmith, Jonathan C. B.; Keifer, MaryBeth; Knapp, Eric E.; Flint, Alan; Flint, Lorriane

    2013-01-01

    Pervasive warming can lead to chronic stress on forest trees, which may contribute to mortality resulting from fire-caused injuries. Longitudinal analyses of forest plots from across the western US show that high pre-fire climatic water deficit was related to increased post-fire tree mortality probabilities. This relationship between climate and fire was present after accounting for fire defences and injuries, and appeared to influence the effects of crown and stem injuries. Climate and fire interactions did not vary substantially across geographical regions, major genera and tree sizes. Our findings support recent physiological evidence showing that both drought and heating from fire can impair xylem conductivity. Warming trends have been linked to increasing probabilities of severe fire weather and fire spread; our results suggest that warming may also increase forest fire severity (the number of trees killed) independent of fire intensity (the amount of heat released during a fire).

  9. Dwarf forest recovery after disturbances in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.L. Weaver

    2008-01-01

    Dwarf forest in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo Mountains varies according to substrate and topography with very short, dense forest growing on exposed, rocky sites. High elevation level sites suffered considerable damage during past hurricanes whereas the trees on certain lower slopes were protected by ridges or spurs. Post-disturbance recovery of dwarf forest on two types of...

  10. Termite diversity across an anthropogenic disturbance gradient in the humid forest zone of West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eggleton, P.; Bignell, D.E.; Hauser, S.; Dibog, L.; Norgrove, L.; Madong, B.

    2002-01-01

    Data are presented for termite assemblages across an anthropogenic disturbance gradient in the humid forest zone of West and Central Africa. Sampling was by standardised 100 mx2 m transects in: primary forest, several ages of regenerating forest, agroforestry plots, short fallows, mixed food crop

  11. Colossal carbon! Disturbance and biomass dynamics in Alaska's national forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Kirkland; Tara Barrett

    2016-01-01

    The Chugach and Tongass National Forests are changing, possibly in response to global warming. Forested areas within Alaska's temperate rain forests are creeping into areas that were previously too cold or too wet. These forests are also becoming denser. As biomass increases, the amount of carbon stored in the forest also increases. Tara Barrett, a...

  12. Climate change amplifies the interactions between wind and bark beetle disturbances in forest landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seidl, Rupert; Rammer, Werner

    2017-07-01

    Growing evidence suggests that climate change could substantially alter forest disturbances. Interactions between individual disturbance agents are a major component of disturbance regimes, yet how interactions contribute to their climate sensitivity remains largely unknown. Here, our aim was to assess the climate sensitivity of disturbance interactions, focusing on wind and bark beetle disturbances. We developed a process-based model of bark beetle disturbance, integrated into the dynamic forest landscape model iLand (already including a detailed model of wind disturbance). We evaluated the integrated model against observations from three wind events and a subsequent bark beetle outbreak, affecting 530.2 ha (3.8 %) of a mountain forest landscape in Austria between 2007 and 2014. Subsequently, we conducted a factorial experiment determining the effect of changes in climate variables on the area disturbed by wind and bark beetles separately and in combination. iLand was well able to reproduce observations with regard to area, temporal sequence, and spatial pattern of disturbance. The observed disturbance dynamics was strongly driven by interactions, with 64.3 % of the area disturbed attributed to interaction effects. A +4 °C warming increased the disturbed area by +264.7 % and the area-weighted mean patch size by +1794.3 %. Interactions were found to have a ten times higher sensitivity to temperature changes than main effects, considerably amplifying the climate sensitivity of the disturbance regime. Disturbance interactions are a key component of the forest disturbance regime. Neglecting interaction effects can lead to a substantial underestimation of the climate change sensitivity of disturbance regimes.

  13. Spatio-temporal evolution of forest fires in Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonini, Marj; Pereira, Mário G.; Parente, Joana

    2017-04-01

    A key issue in fire management is the ability to explore and try to predict where and when fires are more likely to occur. This information can be useful to understand the triggering factors of ignitions and for planning strategies to reduce forest fires, to manage the sources of ignition and to identify areas and frame period at risk. Therefore, producing maps displaying forest fires location and their occurrence in time can be of great help for accurately forecasting these hazardous events. In a fire prone country as Portugal, where thousands of events occurs each year, it is involved to drive information about fires over densities and recurrences just by looking at the original arrangement of the mapped ignition points or burnt areas. In this respect, statistical methods originally developed for spatio-temporal stochastic point processes can be employed to find a structure within these large datasets. In the present study, the authors propose an approach to analyze and visualize the evolution in space and in time of forest fires occurred in Portugal during a long frame period (1990 - 2013). Data came from the Portuguese mapped burnt areas official geodatabase (by the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests), which is the result of interpreted satellite measurements. The following statistical analyses were performed: the geographically-weighted summary statistics, to analyze the local variability of the average burned area; the space-time Kernel density, to elaborate smoothed density surfaces representing over densities of fires classed by size and on North vs South region. Finally, we emploied the volume rendering thecnique to visualize the spatio-temporal evolution of these events into a unique map: this representation allows visually inspecting areas and time-step more affected from a high aggregation of forest fires. It results that during the whole investigated period over densities are mainly located in the northern regions, while in the

  14. Quantifying black carbon deposition over the Greenland ice sheet from forest fires in Canada: BC DEPOSITION FROM FOREST FIRES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas, J. L. [LATMOS/IPSL, UPMC University Paris 6 Sorbonne Universités, UVSQ, CNRS, Paris France; Polashenski, C. M. [USACE-CRREL, Fort Wainwright Alaska USA; Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover New Hampshire USA; Soja, A. J. [National Institute of Aerospace, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton Virginia USA; Marelle, L. [Center for International Climate and Environmental Research-Oslo (CICERO), Oslo Norway; Casey, K. A. [Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover New Hampshire USA; Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt Maryland USA; Choi, H. D. [National Institute of Aerospace, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton Virginia USA; Raut, J. -C. [LATMOS/IPSL, UPMC University Paris 6 Sorbonne Universités, UVSQ, CNRS, Paris France; Wiedinmyer, C. [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder Colorado USA; Emmons, L. K. [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder Colorado USA; Fast, J. D. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland Washington USA; Pelon, J. [LATMOS/IPSL, UPMC University Paris 6 Sorbonne Universités, UVSQ, CNRS, Paris France; Law, K. S. [LATMOS/IPSL, UPMC University Paris 6 Sorbonne Universités, UVSQ, CNRS, Paris France; Flanner, M. G. [Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Michigan USA; Dibb, J. E. [Earth Systems Research Center, EOS, University of New Hampshire, Durham New Hampshire USA

    2017-08-05

    We identify an important Black Carbon (BC) aerosol deposition event that was observed in snow stratigraphy and dated to between 27 July 2013 – 2 August 2013. This event comprises a significant portion (~60%) of total deposition over a 10 month period (July 2013 – April 2014). Here we link this event to forest fires burning in Canada during summer 2013 using modeling and remote sensing tools. Aerosols were detected by both the CALIOP and MODIS instruments during transport between Canada and Greenland, confirming that this event involved emissions from forest fires in Canada. We use high-resolution regional chemical transport mod-eling (WRF-Chem) combined with high-resolution fire emissions (FINNv1.5) to study aerosol emissions, transport, and deposition during this event. The model accurately captures the timing of the BC deposition event and shows that the major contribution to deposition during this event is emissions originating from fires in Canada. However, the model under-predicts aerosol deposition compared to measurements at all sites by a factor of 2–100. Under-prediction of modeled BC deposition originates from uncertainties in fire emissions combined with uncertainties in aerosol scavenging by clouds. This study suggests that it is possible to describe the transport of an exceptional smoke event on regional and continental scales. Improvements in model descriptions of precipitation scavenging and emissions from wildfires are needed to correctly predict deposition, which is critical for determining the climate impacts of aerosols that originate from fires.

  15. Forest fire effects on slopes formed in ice-rich permafrost soils: Mackenzie Valley, Northwest Territories

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Savigny, W. [Bruce Geotechnical Consultants Inc., Vancouver, BC (Canada); Logue, C. [British Columbia Univ., Vancouver, BC (Canada). Dept. of Geological Sciences; MacInnes, K. [Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Yellowknife, NT (Canada)

    1995-12-31

    The impact of fires on the ground thermal regime and the related development of thaw generated excess pore pressures in the degrading permafrost, some in the immediate vicinity of the interprovincial pipeline in the Northwest Territories, were modeled in an attempt to demonstrate that the observed slope instability was a predictable consequence of sudden and severe ground surface disturbance. A one-dimensional finite model was used to simulate ground temperatures both before and after the fires. Excess pore pressures related to the rate of thaw were determined and used in a limit equilibrium analysis. Results indicated that a critical factor of safety for shallow planar instability in fine-grained ice-rich permafrost soils comprising natural slopes developed within a few weeks after the fires. Instability was predicted to occur on slopes as low as 10 degrees, although field observations suggested the extent of instability would be naturally limited by stratigraphic variations. It was suggested that this method of rapid identification of `values at risk` was an attractive technique in managing forests in areas exposed to fire hazards, especially in the face of dwindling fire-fighting resources. 15 refs., 3 tabs., 6 figs.

  16. Soil charcoal to assess the impacts of past human disturbances on tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vleminckx, Jason; Morin-Rivat, Julie; Biwolé, Achille B; Daïnou, Kasso; Gillet, Jean-François; Doucet, Jean-Louis; Drouet, Thomas; Hardy, Olivier J

    2014-01-01

    The canopy of many central African forests is dominated by light-demanding tree species that do not regenerate well under themselves. The prevalence of these species might result from ancient slash-and-burn agricultural activities that created large openings, while a decline of these activities since the colonial period could explain their deficit of regeneration. To verify this hypothesis, we compared soil charcoal abundance, used as a proxy for past slash-and-burn agriculture, and tree species composition assessed on 208 rainforest 0.2 ha plots located in three areas from Southern Cameroon. Species were classified in regeneration guilds (pioneer, non-pioneer light-demanding, shade-bearer) and characterized by their wood-specific gravity, assumed to reflect light requirement. We tested the correlation between soil charcoal abundance and: (i) the relative abundance of each guild, (ii) each species and family abundance and (iii) mean wood-specific gravity. Charcoal was found in 83% of the plots, indicating frequent past forest fires. Radiocarbon dating revealed two periods of fires: "recent" charcoal were on average 300 years old (up to 860 BP, n = 16) and occurred in the uppermost 20 cm soil layer, while "ancient" charcoal were on average 1900 years old (range: 1500 to 2800 BP, n = 43, excluding one sample dated 9400 BP), and found in all soil layers. While we expected a positive correlation between the relative abundance of light-demanding species and charcoal abundance in the upper soil layer, overall there was no evidence that the current heterogeneity in tree species composition can be explained by charcoal abundance in any soil layer. The absence of signal supporting our hypothesis might result from (i) a relatively uniform impact of past slash-and-burn activities, (ii) pedoturbation processes bringing ancient charcoal to the upper soil layer, blurring the signal of centuries-old Human disturbances, or (iii) the prevalence of other environmental

  17. Using Land Surface Phenology as the Basis for a National Early Warning System for Forest Disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargrove, W. W.; Spruce, J.; Norman, S. P.; Hoffman, F. M.

    2011-12-01

    The National Early Warning System (EWS) provides an 8-day coast-to-coast snapshot of potentially disturbed forests across the U.S.. A prototype system has produced national maps of potential forest disturbances every eight days since January 2010, identifying locations that may require further investigation. Through phenology, the system shows both early and delayed vegetation development and detects all types of unexpected forest disturbances, including insects, disease, wildfires, frost and ice damage, tornadoes, hurricanes, blowdowns, harvest, urbanization, landslides, drought, flood, and climate change. The USDA Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center is collaborating with NASA Stennis Space Center and the Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center to develop the tool. The EWS uses differences in phenological responses between an expectation based on historical data and a current view to strategically identify potential forest disturbances and direct attention to locations where forest behavior seems unusual. Disturbance maps are available via the Forest Change Assessment Viewer (FCAV) (http://ews.forestthreats.org/gis), which allows resource managers and other users to see the most current national disturbance maps as soon as they are available. Phenology-based detections show not only vegetation disturbances in the classical sense, but all departures from normal seasonal vegetation behavior. In 2010, the EWS detected a repeated late-frost event at high elevations in North Carolina, USA, that resulted in delayed seasonal development, contrasting with an early spring development at lower elevations, all within close geographic proximity. Throughout 2011, there was a high degree of correspondence between the National Climatic Data Center's North American Drought Monitor maps and EWS maps of phenological drought disturbance in forests. Urban forests showed earlier and more severe phenological drought disturbance than

  18. Impact of forest fires on particulate matter and ozone levels during the 2003, 2004 and 2005 fire seasons in portugal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martins, V.; Miranda, A.I.; Carvalho, A.; Schaap, M.; Borrego, C.; Sá, E.

    2012-01-01

    The main purpose of this work is to estimate the impact of forest fires on air pollution applying the LOTOS-EUROS air quality modeling system in Portugal for three consecutive years, 2003-2005. Forest fire emissions have been included in the modeling system through the development of a numerical

  19. Data in support of environmental controls on the characteristics of mean number of forest fires and mean forest area burned (1987–2007 in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Chang

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Fire frequency and size are two important parameters describing fire characteristics. Exploring the spatial variation of fire characteristics and understanding the environmental controls are indispensable to fire prediction and sustainable forest landscape management. To illustrate the spatial variation of forest fire characteristics over China and to quantitatively determine the relative contribution of each of the environmental controls to this variation, forest fire characteristic data (mean number of forest fires and mean burned forest area and environmental data (climate, land use, vegetation type and topography at provincial level were derived. These data sets can potentially serve as a foundation for future studies relating to fire risk assessment, carbon emission by forest fires, and the impact of climate change on fire characteristics. This data article contains data related to the research article entitled “Environmental controls on the characteristics of mean number of forest fires and mean forest area burned (1987–2007 in China” by chang et al. [1].

  20. Understorey fire frequency and the fate of burned forests in southern Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, D C; Le Page, Y; DeFries, R; Collatz, G J; Hurtt, G C

    2013-06-05

    Recent drought events underscore the vulnerability of Amazon forests to understorey fires. The long-term impact of fires on biodiversity and forest carbon stocks depends on the frequency of fire damages and deforestation rates of burned forests. Here, we characterized the spatial and temporal dynamics of understorey fires (1999-2010) and deforestation (2001-2010) in southern Amazonia using new satellite-based estimates of annual fire activity (greater than 50 ha) and deforestation (greater than 10 ha). Understorey forest fires burned more than 85 500 km(2) between 1999 and 2010 (2.8% of all forests). Forests that burned more than once accounted for 16 per cent of all understorey fires. Repeated fire activity was concentrated in Mato Grosso and eastern Pará, whereas single fires were widespread across the arc of deforestation. Routine fire activity in Mato Grosso coincided with annual periods of low night-time relative humidity, suggesting a strong climate control on both single and repeated fires. Understorey fires occurred in regions with active deforestation, yet the interannual variability of fire and deforestation were uncorrelated, and only 2.6 per cent of forests that burned between 1999 and 2008 were deforested for agricultural use by 2010. Evidence from the past decade suggests that future projections of frontier landscapes in Amazonia should separately consider economic drivers to project future deforestation and climate to project fire risk.

  1. The Impact of Boreal Forest Fire on Climate Warming

    OpenAIRE

    Randerson, J. T.; Liu, H.; Flanner, M. G.; Chambers, S. D.; Jin, Y.; Hess, P. G.; Pfister, G.; Mack, M. C.; Treseder, K. K.; Welp, L. R.; Chapin, F. S.; Harden, J. W.; Goulden, M. L.; Lyons, E.; Neff, J. C.

    2006-01-01

    We report measurements and analysis of a boreal forest fire, integrating the effects of greenhouse gases, aerosols, black carbon deposition on snow and sea ice, and postfire changes in surface albedo. The net effect of all agents was to increase radiative forcing during the first year (34 ± 31 Watts per square meter of burned area), but to decrease radiative forcing when averaged over an 80-year fire cycle (–2.3 ± 2.2 Watts per square meter) because multidecadal increases in surface albedo ha...

  2. The Importance of Permafrost Thaw, Fire and Logging Disturbances as Driving Factors of Historical and Projected Carbon Dynamics in Alaskan Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genet, H.; Zhang, Y.; McGuire, A. D.; He, Y.; Johnson, K. D.; D'Amore, D. V.; Zhou, X.; Bennett, A.; Breen, A. L.; Biles, F. E.; Bliss, N. B.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Kurkowski, T. A.; Pastick, N.; Rupp, S. T.; Wylie, B. K.; Zhu, Z.; Zhuang, Q.

    2014-12-01

    Carbon dynamics of natural ecosystems are influenced by disturbance regimes of various frequencies and magnitudes. With global change, these disturbances are projected to increase in frequency and/or magnitude and may have significant effects on future net carbon balance, especially in high latitude ecosystems where carbon stocks are among the largest on Earth and climate change is substantial. In Alaska, permafrost degradation and fire in the boreal and arctic regions and logging in the southern coastal region are the main disturbances that affect ecosystems. Large uncertainties related to the effects of these disturbances on the capacity of these regions to store carbon still exist mainly due to difficulty in representing permafrost degradation in current ecosystem models. We ran the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), which explicitly simulates the carbon cycle and permafrost dynamics, coupled with a disturbance model (the Alaska Frame Based Ecosystem Code, ALFRESCO) to assess the relative importance of permafrost thaw, wildfire, and forest management on historical and projected carbon balance and carbon stocks in Alaska, from 1950 to 2100, at a 1-km resolution. Our simulations showed that the increase in plant productivity in response to warming in boreal and arctic regions is offset by soil carbon loss due to permafrost degradation and wildfire combustion during both historical and future simulations. Fire disturbances act as a catalyst accelerating permafrost degradation and associated soil carbon loss. In addition, our preliminary results for south coastal regions of Alaska indicate that logging of second growth forests could influence carbon dynamics in that region. Overall, these results have implications for land management strategies and illustrate the importance of taking into account multiple types of disturbance regimes in ecosystem models for Alaska.

  3. Forest Disturbance Mapping Using Dense Synthetic Landsat/MODIS Time-Series and Permutation-Based Disturbance Index Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Frantz

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Spatio-temporal information on process-based forest loss is essential for a wide range of applications. Despite remote sensing being the only feasible means of monitoring forest change at regional or greater scales, there is no retrospectively available remote sensor that meets the demand of monitoring forests with the required spatial detail and guaranteed high temporal frequency. As an alternative, we employed the Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model (STARFM to produce a dense synthetic time series by fusing Landsat and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS nadir Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF adjusted reflectance. Forest loss was detected by applying a multi-temporal disturbance detection approach implementing a Disturbance Index-based detection strategy. The detection thresholds were permutated with random numbers for the normal distribution in order to generate a multi-dimensional threshold confidence area. As a result, a more robust parameterization and a spatially more coherent detection could be achieved. (i The original Landsat time series; (ii synthetic time series; and a (iii combined hybrid approach were used to identify the timing and extent of disturbances. The identified clearings in the Landsat detection were verified using an annual woodland clearing dataset from Queensland’s Statewide Landcover and Trees Study. Disturbances caused by stand-replacing events were successfully identified. The increased temporal resolution of the synthetic time series indicated promising additional information on disturbance timing. The results of the hybrid detection unified the benefits of both approaches, i.e., the spatial quality and general accuracy of the Landsat detection and the increased temporal information of synthetic time series. Results indicated that a temporal improvement in the detection of the disturbance date could be achieved relative to the irregularly spaced Landsat

  4. Forest Composition and Structure Under Various Disturbance Regimes in the Alaknanda River Basin, Western Himalaya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Upma Manral

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available This study explored the resilience of mountain forests in a protected area in Alaknanda River basin, Western Himalaya, to various disturbance scenarios. The resource dependency of village communities in the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary Landscape was studied through a questionnaire survey in 10 villages situated along an elevational gradient. Vegetation sampling was done in government-owned sanctuary forests and community-owned forests, both visited by villagers. Forest community composition, regeneration status, and tree population structure were studied to understand the impact of disturbance on forests and their resistance to anthropogenic alterations. Results indicated a reduction in both fuelwood and fodder consumption with decreasing elevation, with villages at higher elevations and located inside the sanctuary depending more on forest resources. Forests showed evidence of disturbance in the form of lower basal cover, mean canopy cover, regeneration, and disturbance-influenced distribution of shrubs. However, despite the signs of secondary succession, Quercus leucotrichophora forest has retained the original tree species composition. Vegetation recovery on 3 landslide sites at varying successional stages was also studied. The old successional site had higher species richness than early successional sites. The only tree species with adult individuals recorded in early successional sites was Alnus nepalensis, an early successional nitrogen-fixing species. The community composition of the old successional site, at Bandwara, included young individuals of Q. leucotrichophora, the climax species of forests in that elevational range. The current forest structure of both disturbed forest and vegetation recovery on the old succession site indicate the resilient dynamism of native Himalayan forests. Considering the role of mountain forests in achieving sustainable development, it is imperative to study the dynamics of changes in forest community and

  5. Biomass and carbon pools of disturbed riparian forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura A. B. Giese; W. M. Aust; Randall K. Kolka; Carl C. Trettin

    2003-01-01

    Quantification of carbon pools as affected by forest age/development can facilitate riparian restoration and increase awareness of the potential for forests to sequester global carbon. Riparian forest biomass and carbon pools were quantified for four riparian forests representing different seral stages in the South Carolina Upper Coastal Plain. Three of the riparian...

  6. Bird functional diversity decreases with time since disturbance: Does patchy prescribed fire enhance ecosystem function?.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitters, Holly; Di Stefano, Julian; Christie, Fiona; Swan, Matthew; York, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Animal species diversity is often associated with time since disturbance, but the effects of disturbances such as fire on functional diversity are unknown. Functional diversity measures the range, abundance, and distribution of trait values in a community, and links changes in species composition with the consequences for ecosystem function. Improved understanding of the relationship between time since fire (TSF) and functional diversity is critical given that the frequency of both prescribed fire and wildfire is expected to increase. To address this knowledge gap, we examined responses of avian functional diversity to TSF and two direct measures of environmental heterogeneity, plant diversity, and structural heterogeneity. We surveyed birds across a 70-year chronosequence spanning four vegetation types in southeast Australia. Six bird functional traits were used to derive four functional diversity indices (richness, evenness, divergence, and dispersion) and the effects of TSF, plant diversity and structural heterogeneity on species richness and the functional diversity indices were examined using mixed models. We used a regression tree method to identify traits associated with species more common in young vegetation. Functional richness and dispersion were negatively associated with TSF in all vegetation types, suggesting that recent prescribed fire generates heterogeneous vegetation and provides greater opportunities for resource partitioning. Species richness was not significantly associated with TSF, and is probably an unreliable surrogate for functional diversity in fire-prone systems. A positive, relationship between functional evenness and structural heterogeneity was comnon to all vegetation types, suggesting that fine-scale (tens of meters) structural variation can enhance ecosystem function. Species more common in young vegetation were primarily linked by their specialist diets, indicating that ecosystem services such as seed dispersal and insect control

  7. Earthworms as indicators for different forest management types and human disturbance in Ilam oak forest, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heydari Mehdi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available There has been observed widespread destruction of natural ecosystems around the world due to population growth, land use change and clear cutting which have affected soil properties. Different management strategies have been so far implemented to reduce this crisis in various regions of the world, such as e.g. short-term and long-term conservation management in the Zagros region. However, any management approach should be evaluated with appropriate measures to determine how managed areas respond. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate the potential of earthworms as an indicator for different forest management strategies and human disturbances in Zagros oak (Quercus persica Jaub. and Spach forest. The sites selected included undisturbed one as the control (Un, the sites under five-year conservation management (FCM and twenty-year conservation management (TCM as well as the disturbed site (D. The results of principal component analysis (PCA showed that different regions separated into the components: PC1 and PC2. Un and TCM sites gathered together and represented higher values of the factors such as pH, Kavailable, OC, clay content, Pavailable, CEC, overstory tree canopy, Ntot, biomass and abundance of earthworms. The positive direction of the first axis reflected a gradient of EC, BD and Ptot. According to the logistic model, NH4-N and EC played the most important role in earthworm presence and absence in Zagros forest ecosystem. Earthworm abundance and biomass could be a good indicator to evaluate different forest management strategies in the study area.

  8. Influence of Fire Mosaics, Habitat Characteristics and Cattle Disturbance on Mammals in Fire-Prone Savanna Landscapes of the Northern Kimberley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radford, Ian J; Gibson, Lesley A; Corey, Ben; Carnes, Karin; Fairman, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Patch mosaic burning, in which fire is used to produce a mosaic of habitat patches representative of a range of fire histories ('pyrodiversity'), has been widely advocated to promote greater biodiversity. However, the details of desired fire mosaics for prescribed burning programs are often unspecified. Threatened small to medium-sized mammals (35 g to 5.5 kg) in the fire-prone tropical savannas of Australia appear to be particularly fire-sensitive. Consequently, a clear understanding of which properties of fire mosaics are most instrumental in influencing savanna mammal populations is critical. Here we use mammal capture data, remotely sensed fire information (i.e. time since last fire, fire frequency, frequency of late dry season fires, diversity of post-fire ages in 3 km radius, and spatial extent of recently burnt, intermediate and long unburnt habitat) and structural habitat attributes (including an index of cattle disturbance) to examine which characteristics of fire mosaics most influence mammals in the north-west Kimberley. We used general linear models to examine the relationship between fire mosaic and habitat attributes on total mammal abundance and richness, and the abundance of the most commonly detected species. Strong negative associations of mammal abundance and richness with frequency of late dry season fires, the spatial extent of recently burnt habitat (post-fire age fire age classes in the models. Our results indicate that both a high frequency of intense late dry season fires and extensive, recently burnt vegetation are likely to be detrimental to mammals in the north Kimberley. A managed fire mosaic that reduces large scale and intense fires, including the retention of ≥4 years unburnt patches, will clearly benefit savanna mammals. We also highlighted the importance of fire mosaics that retain sufficient shelter for mammals. Along with fire, it is clear that grazing by introduced herbivores also needs to be reduced so that habitat quality is

  9. Modelling forest carbon stock changes as affected by harvest and natural disturbances. I. Comparison with countries’ estimates for forest management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Pilli

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background According to the post-2012 rules under the Kyoto protocol, developed countries that are signatories to the protocol have to estimate and report the greenhouse gas (GHG emissions and removals from forest management (FM, with the option to exclude the emissions associated to natural disturbances, following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC guidelines. To increase confidence in GHG estimates, the IPCC recommends performing verification activities, i.e. comparing country data with independent estimates. However, countries currently conduct relatively few verification efforts. The aim of this study is to implement a consistent methodological approach using the Carbon Budget Model (CBM to estimate the net CO2 emissions from FM in 26 European Union (EU countries for the period 2000–2012, including the impacts of natural disturbances. We validated our results against a totally independent case study and then we compared the CBM results with the data reported by countries in their 2014 Greenhouse Gas Inventories (GHGIs submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC. Results The match between the CBM results and the GHGIs was good in nine countries (i.e. the average of our results is within ±25 % compared to the GHGI and the correlation between CBM and GHGI is significant at P < 0.05 and partially good in ten countries. When the comparison was not satisfactory, in most cases we were able to identify possible reasons for these discrepancies, including: (1 a different representation of the interannual variability, e.g. where the GHGIs used the stock-change approach; (2 different assumptions for non-biomass pools, and for CO2 emissions from fires and harvest residues. In few cases, further analysis will be needed to identify any possible inappropriate data used by the CBM or problems in the GHGI. Finally, the frequent updates to data and methods used by countries to prepare GHGI

  10. Gis-Based Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis for Forest Fire Risk Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akay, A. E.; Erdoğan, A.

    2017-11-01

    The forested areas along the coastal zone of the Mediterranean region in Turkey are classified as first-degree fire sensitive areas. Forest fires are major environmental disaster that affects the sustainability of forest ecosystems. Besides, forest fires result in important economic losses and even threaten human lives. Thus, it is critical to determine the forested areas with fire risks and thereby minimize the damages on forest resources by taking necessary precaution measures in these areas. The risk of forest fire can be assessed based on various factors such as forest vegetation structures (tree species, crown closure, tree stage), topographic features (slope and aspect), and climatic parameters (temperature, wind). In this study, GIS-based Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) method was used to generate forest fire risk map. The study was implemented in the forested areas within Yayla Forest Enterprise Chiefs at Dursunbey Forest Enterprise Directorate which is classified as first degree fire sensitive area. In the solution process, "extAhp 2.0" plug-in running Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method in ArcGIS 10.4.1 was used to categorize study area under five fire risk classes: extreme risk, high risk, moderate risk, and low risk. The results indicated that 23.81 % of the area was of extreme risk, while 25.81 % was of high risk. The result indicated that the most effective criterion was tree species, followed by tree stages. The aspect had the least effective criterion on forest fire risk. It was revealed that GIS techniques integrated with MCDA methods are effective tools to quickly estimate forest fire risk at low cost. The integration of these factors into GIS can be very useful to determine forested areas with high fire risk and also to plan forestry management after fire.

  11. GIS-BASED MULTI-CRITERIA DECISION ANALYSIS FOR FOREST FIRE RISK MAPPING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. E. Akay

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The forested areas along the coastal zone of the Mediterranean region in Turkey are classified as first-degree fire sensitive areas. Forest fires are major environmental disaster that affects the sustainability of forest ecosystems. Besides, forest fires result in important economic losses and even threaten human lives. Thus, it is critical to determine the forested areas with fire risks and thereby minimize the damages on forest resources by taking necessary precaution measures in these areas. The risk of forest fire can be assessed based on various factors such as forest vegetation structures (tree species, crown closure, tree stage, topographic features (slope and aspect, and climatic parameters (temperature, wind. In this study, GIS-based Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA method was used to generate forest fire risk map. The study was implemented in the forested areas within Yayla Forest Enterprise Chiefs at Dursunbey Forest Enterprise Directorate which is classified as first degree fire sensitive area. In the solution process, "extAhp 2.0" plug-in running Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP method in ArcGIS 10.4.1 was used to categorize study area under five fire risk classes: extreme risk, high risk, moderate risk, and low risk. The results indicated that 23.81 % of the area was of extreme risk, while 25.81 % was of high risk. The result indicated that the most effective criterion was tree species, followed by tree stages. The aspect had the least effective criterion on forest fire risk. It was revealed that GIS techniques integrated with MCDA methods are effective tools to quickly estimate forest fire risk at low cost. The integration of these factors into GIS can be very useful to determine forested areas with high fire risk and also to plan forestry management after fire.

  12. Monitoring the Effects of Forest Restoration Treatments on Post-Fire Vegetation Recovery with MODIS Multitemporal Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willem J. D. van Leeuwen

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available This study examines how satellite based time-series vegetation greenness data and phenological measurements can be used to monitor and quantify vegetation recovery after wildfire disturbances and examine how pre-fire fuel reduction restoration treatments impact fire severity and impact vegetation recovery trajectories. Pairs of wildfire affected sites and a nearby unburned reference site were chosen to measure the post-disturbance recovery in relation to climate variation. All site pairs were chosen in forested uplands in Arizona and were restricted to the area of the Rodeo-Chediski fire that occurred in 2002. Fuel reduction treatments were performed in 1999 and 2001. The inter-annual and seasonal vegetation dynamics before, during, and after wildfire events can be monitored using a time series of biweekly composited MODIS NDVI (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer - Normalized Difference Vegetation Index data. Time series analysis methods included difference metrics, smoothing filters, and fitting functions that were applied to extract seasonal and inter-annual change and phenological metrics from the NDVI time series data from 2000 to 2007. Pre- and post-fire Landsat data were used to compute the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR and examine burn severity at the selected sites. The phenological metrics (pheno-metrics included the timing and greenness (i.e. NDVI for the start, peak and end of the growing season as well as proxy measures for the rate of green-up and senescence and the annual vegetation productivity. Pre-fire fuel reduction treatments resulted in lower fire severity, which reduced annual productivity much less than untreated areas within the Rodeo-Chediski fire perimeter. The seasonal metrics were shown to be useful for estimating the rate of post-fire disturbance recovery and the timing of phenological greenness phases. The use of satellite time series NDVI data and derived pheno-metrics show potential for tracking vegetation

  13. MODIS NDVI Response Following Fires in Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranson, K. Jon; Sun, G.; Kovacs, K.; Kharuk, V. I.

    2003-01-01

    The Siberian boreal forest is considered a carbon sink but may become an important source of carbon dioxide if climatic warming predictions are correct. The forest is continually changing through various disturbance mechanisms such as insects, logging, mineral exploitation, and especially fires. Patterns of disturbance and forest recovery processes are important factors regulating carbon flux in this area. NASA's Terra MODIS provides useful information for assessing location of fires and post fire changes in forests. MODIS fire (MOD14), and NDVI (MOD13) products were used to examine fire occurrence and post fire variability in vegetation cover as indicated by NDVI. Results were interpreted for various post fire outcomes, such as decreased NDVI after fire, no change in NDVI after fire and positive NDVI change after fire. The fire frequency data were also evaluated in terms of proximity to population centers, and transportation networks.

  14. A review of the relationships between drought and forest fire in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeremy S. Littell; David L. Peterson; Karin L. Riley; Yongqiang Liu; Charlie H. Luce

    2016-01-01

    The historical and presettlement relationships between drought and wildfire are well documented in North America, with forest fire occurrence and area clearly increasing in response to drought. There is also evidence that drought interacts with other controls (forest productivity, topography, fire weather, management activities) to affect fire intensity,...

  15. Quantifying the effect of fuel reduction treatments on fire behavior in boreal forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    B.W. Butler; R.D. Ottmar; T.S. Rupp; R. Jandt; E. Miller; K. Howard; R. Schmoll; S. Theisen; R.E. Vihnanek; D. Jimenez

    2013-01-01

    Mechanical (e.g., shearblading) and manual (e.g., thinning) fuel treatments have become the preferred strategy of many fire managers and agencies for reducing fire hazard in boreal forests. This study attempts to characterize the effectiveness of four fuel treatments through direct measurement of fire intensity and forest floor consumption during a single prescribed...

  16. Increasing elevation of fire in the Sierra Nevada and implications for forest change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark W. Schwartz; Nathalie Butt; Christopher R. Dolanc; Andrew Holguin; Max A. Moritz; Malcolm P. North; Hugh D. Safford; Nathan L. Stephenson; James H. Thorne; Phillip J. van Mantgem

    2015-01-01

    Fire in high-elevation forest ecosystems can have severe impacts on forest structure, function and biodiversity. Using a 105-year data set, we found increasing elevation extent of fires in the Sierra Nevada, and pose five hypotheses to explain this pattern. Beyond the recognized pattern of increasing fire frequency in the Sierra Nevada since the late 20th century, we...

  17. Climate change, forests, fire, water, and fish: Building resilient landscapes, streams, and managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles Luce; Penny Morgan; Kathleen Dwire; Daniel Isaak; Zachary Holden; Bruce Rieman

    2012-01-01

    Fire will play an important role in shaping forest and stream ecosystems as the climate changes. Historic observations show increased dryness accompanying more widespread fire and forest die-off. These events punctuate gradual changes to ecosystems and sometimes generate stepwise changes in ecosystems. Climate vulnerability assessments need to account for fire in their...

  18. A data model for route planning in the case of forest fires

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Z.; Zlatanova, S.; Moreno, A.; Van Oosterom, P.J.M.; Toro, C.

    2013-01-01

    The ability to guide relief vehicles to safety and quickly pass through environments affected by fires is critical in fighting forest fires. In this paper, we focus on route determination in the case of forest fires, and propose a data model that supports finding paths among moving obstacles. This

  19. Functional nonredundancy of elephants in a disturbed tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekar, Nitin; Lee, Chia-Lo; Sukumar, Raman

    2017-10-01

    Conservation efforts are often motivated by the threat of global extinction. Yet if conservationists had more information suggesting that extirpation of individual species could lead to undesirable ecological effects, they might more frequently attempt to protect or restore such species across their ranges even if they were not globally endangered. Scientists have seldom measured or quantitatively predicted the functional consequences of species loss, even for large, extinction-prone species that theory suggests should be functionally unique. We measured the contribution of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to the dispersal of 3 large-fruited species in a disturbed tropical moist forest and predicted the extent to which alternative dispersers could compensate for elephants in their absence. We created an empirical probability model with data on frugivory and seed dispersal from Buxa Tiger Reserve, India. These data were used to estimate the proportion of seeds consumed by elephants and other frugivores that survive handling and density-dependent processes (Janzen-Connell effects and conspecific intradung competition) and germinate. Without compensation, the number of seeds dispersed and surviving density-dependent effects decreased 26% (Artocarpus chaplasha), 42% (Careya arborea), and 72% (Dillenia indica) when elephants were absent from the ecosystem. Compensatory fruit removal by other animals substantially ameliorated these losses. For instance, reductions in successful dispersal of D. indica were as low as 23% when gaur (Bos gaurus) persisted, but median dispersal distance still declined from 30% (C. arborea) to 90% (A. chaplasha) without elephants. Our results support the theory that the largest animal species in an ecosystem have nonredundant ecological functionality and that their extirpation is likely to lead to the deterioration of ecosystem processes such as seed dispersal. This effect is likely accentuated by the overall defaunation of many tropical

  20. Impact assessment of the forest fires on Oarai Research and Development Center Waste Treatment Facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shimomura, Yusuke; Kitamura, Ryoichi; Hanari, Akira; Sato, Isamu

    2016-03-01

    In response to new standards for regulating waste treatment facility ('new regulatory standards'; December 18, 2013 enforcement), it was carried out impact assessment of forest fires on the Waste Treatment Facility existed in Oarai Research and Development Center of Japan Atomic Energy Agency. At first, a fire spread scenario of forest fires was assumed. The intensity of forest fires was evaluated from field surveys, forest fire evaluation models and so on. As models of forest fire intensity evaluation, Rothermel Model and Canadian Forest Fire Behavior Prediction (FBP) System were used. Impact assessment of radiant heat to the facility was carried out, and temperature change of outer walls for the assumed forest fires was estimated. The outer wall temperature of facility was estimated around 160degC at the maximum, it was revealed that it doesn't reach allowable temperature limit. Consequently, it doesn't influence the strength of concrete. In addition, a probability of fire breach was estimated to be about 20%. This report illustrates an example of evaluation of forest fires for the new regulatory standards through impact assessment of the forest fires on the Waste Treatment Facility. (author)

  1. Birth-jump processes and application to forest fire spotting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillen, T; Greese, B; Martin, J; de Vries, G

    2015-01-01

    Birth-jump models are designed to describe population models for which growth and spatial spread cannot be decoupled. A birth-jump model is a nonlinear integro-differential equation. We present two different derivations of this equation, one based on a random walk approach and the other based on a two-compartmental reaction-diffusion model. In the case that the redistribution kernels are highly concentrated, we show that the integro-differential equation can be approximated by a reaction-diffusion equation, in which the proliferation rate contributes to both the diffusion term and the reaction term. We completely solve the corresponding critical domain size problem and the minimal wave speed problem. Birth-jump models can be applied in many areas in mathematical biology. We highlight an application of our results in the context of forest fire spread through spotting. We show that spotting increases the invasion speed of a forest fire front.

  2. ANALYSIS OF EFFICIENCY OF FIRE DANGER INDICES IN FOREST FIRE PREDICTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fillipe Tamiozzo Pereira Torres

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Despite the existence of different fire danger indices, the use of an inefficient index can lead to making wrong decisions on the appropriate procedures for preventing and fighting forest fires, while a trusted prediction index can help the most quantification and allocation of resources for prevention. Thereat, the objective of this study is to analyze the efficiency of Fire Weather Index (FWI, Logarithmic of Telicyn Index, Nesterov Index, cumulative indexes of precipitation - evaporation (P-EVAP and evaporation / precipitation (EVAP/P, Monte Alegre Index (FMA and Monte Alegre Changed Index (FMA+ in the prediction of forest fires for the city of Viçosa (MG. The indices were compared using the method known as Skill Score (SS taking into account the days that the indexes pointed to the risk of events with focus fire identified by satellite images on the 01/01/2005 to 31/12/2014 period. According to the results, the Logarithm of Telicyn Index (0.53257 as the most efficient for the study area, followed by the indices EVAP/P (0.46553, P-EVAP (0.43724, Nesterov (0.40445, FWI (0.39213, FMA+(0.34595 and FMA (0.28982.

  3. Surface albedo in relation to disturbance and early stand dynamics in the boreal forest: Implications for climate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halim, M. A.; Thomas, S. C.

    2017-12-01

    Surface albedo is the most important biophysical radiative forcing in the boreal forest. General Circulation Model studies have suggested that harvesting of boreal forest has a net cooling effect, in contrast to other terrestrial biomes, by increasing surface albedo. However, albedo estimation in these models has been achieved by simplifying processes governing albedo at a coarse scale (both spatial and temporal). Biophysical processes that determine albedo likely operate on small spatial and temporal scales, requiring more direct estimates of effects of landcover change on net radiation. We established a chronosequence study in post-fire and post-clearcut sites (2013, 2006, 1998), logging data from July 2013 to July 2017 in boreal forest sites in northwestern Ontario, Canada. Each age-class X disturbance had 3 three replicates, matched to 18 permanent circular plots (10-m radius) each with an instrumented tower measuring surface albedo, air and soil temperature, and soil moisture. We also measured leaf area index, species composition and soil organic matter content at each site. BRDF-corrected surface albedo was calculated from daily 30m x 30m reflectance data fused from the MODIS MOD09GA product and Landsat 7 reflectance data. Calculated albedo was verified using ground-based measurements. Results show that fire sites generally had lower (15-25%) albedo than clearcut sites in all seasons. Because of rapid forest regrowth, large perturbations of clearcut harvests on forest albedo started to fade out within a year. Albedo differences between fire and clearcut sites also declined sharply with stand age. Younger stands generally had higher albedo than older stands mainly due to the presence of broadleaf species (for example, Populus tremuloides). In spring, snow melted 10-12 days earlier in recent (2013) clearcut sites compared to closed-canopy sites, causing a sharp reduction in surface albedo in comparison to old clearcut/fire sites (2006 and 1998). Snow melted

  4. Local fractality: The case of forest fires in Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanevski, Mikhail; Pereira, Mário G.

    2017-08-01

    The research deals with a study of local fractality in spatial distribution of forest fires in Portugal using the sandbox method. The general procedure is the following: (a) define a circle centred in each and all events with increasing radius R; (b) count the number of other events located within the circle of radius R, N(R) ; (c) plot the growth curve which is the functional dependence of N(R) versus R; and (d) estimate the local fractal dimension as the slope on log[ N(R) ] versus log[ R]. The computation is carried out by using the location of every fire event as a centre but without the final averaging over all the fires for a given R, which is usually performed to get a global fractal dimension and to estimate global clustering. Sandbox method is widely used in many applications in physics and other subjects. The local procedure has the ability to provide the most complete information regarding the spatial distribution of clustering and avoiding non-homogeneity and non-stationarity problems. Most of the analysis was performed using the National Mapping Burnt Area (NMBA) database which accounts for 32 156 fires during the 1975-2013 period. The results of local analysis are compared with a randomly generated pattern in forest zones (validity domain). The results demonstrate interesting local spatial patterns of clustering. Some results on global measures are reported as well.

  5. Historic Frequency and Severity of Fire in Whitebark Pine Forests of the Cascade Mountain Range, USA

    OpenAIRE

    Michael P. Murray; Joel Siderius

    2018-01-01

    Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis Engelm.) is a foundation species of high elevation forest ecosystems in the Cascade Mountain Range of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. We examined fire evidence on 55 fire history sites located in the Cascade Range. To estimate dates of historic fires we analyzed 57 partial cross-sections from fire-scarred trees plus 700 increment cores. The resulting 101 fire events indicate fire has been a widespread component of Cascadian whitebark pine stands. Res...

  6. Disturbances catalyze the adaptation of forest ecosystems to changing climate conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thom, Dominik; Rammer, Werner; Seidl, Rupert

    2017-01-01

    The rates of anthropogenic climate change substantially exceed those at which forest ecosystems - dominated by immobile, long-lived organisms - are able to adapt. The resulting maladaptation of forests has potentially detrimental effects on ecosystem functioning. Furthermore, as many forest-dwelling species are highly dependent on the prevailing tree species, a delayed response of the latter to a changing climate can contribute to an extinction debt and mask climate-induced biodiversity loss. However, climate change will likely also intensify forest disturbances. Here, we tested the hypothesis that disturbances foster the reorganization of ecosystems and catalyze the adaptation of forest composition to climate change. Our specific objectives were (i) to quantify the rate of autonomous forest adaptation to climate change, (ii) examine the role of disturbance in the adaptation process, and (iii) investigate spatial differences in climate-induced species turnover in an unmanaged mountain forest landscape (Kalkalpen National Park, Austria). Simulations with a process-based forest landscape model were performed for 36 unique combinations of climate and disturbance scenarios over 1000 years. We found that climate change strongly favored European beech and oak species (currently prevailing in mid- to low-elevation areas), with novel species associations emerging on the landscape. Yet, it took between 357 and 706 years before the landscape attained a dynamic equilibrium with the climate system. Disturbances generally catalyzed adaptation and decreased the time needed to attain equilibrium by up to 211 years. However, while increasing disturbance frequency and severity accelerated adaptation, increasing disturbance size had the opposite effect. Spatial analyses suggest that particularly the lowest and highest elevation areas will be hotspots of future species change. We conclude that the growing maladaptation of forests to climate and the long lead times of autonomous

  7. The effects of forest fires on the stand history of New Jersey's pine region

    Science.gov (United States)

    S. Little

    1946-01-01

    This paper summarizes the present knowledge on the effects of forest fires in the Pine Region of New Jersey. It is not the result of any one research project, but the combined result of research and observations. Its purpose is to acquaint foresters and others having some knowledge of forestry and conservation with the importance of forest fires and the part they have...

  8. Reintroducing fire into a ponderosa pine forest with and without cattle grazing: understory vegetation response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becky K. Kerns; Michelle Buonopane; Walter G. Thies; Christine. Niwa

    2011-01-01

    Reestablishing historical fire regimes is a high priority for North American coniferous forests, particularly ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) ecosystems. These forests are also used extensively for cattle (Bos spp.) grazing. Prescribed fires are being applied on or planned for millions of hectares of these forests to reduce...

  9. The influence of fire on a southern Cape mountain forest | Watson ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Afromontane forests in the southern Cape are surrounded by fire-prone fynbos. Although the presence of charcoal in Afromontane forests indicate that they do burn, little is known about the influence of fire on the dynamics of these forests. We compared the species composition and diversity of tree species in the margin and ...

  10. Applications of satellite-derived disturbance information in support of sustainable forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sean Healey; Warren Cohen; Gretchen Moisen

    2007-01-01

    The need for current information about the effects of fires, harvest, and storms is evident in many areas of sustainable forest management. While there are several potential sources of this information, each source has its limitations. Generally speaking, the statistical rigor associated with traditional forest sampling is an important asset in any monitoring effort....

  11. Comparison of silvicultural and natural disturbance effects on terrestrial salamanders in northern hardwood forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel J. Hocking; Kimberly J. Babbitt; Mariko. Yamasaki

    2013-01-01

    In forested ecosystems timber harvesting has the potential to emulate natural disturbances, thereby maintaining the natural communities adapted to particular disturbances. We compared the effects of even-aged (clearcut and patch cut) and uneven-aged (group cut, single-tree selection) timber management techniques with natural ice-storm damage and unmanipulated reference...

  12. Assessing the stability of tree ranges and influence of disturbance in eastern US forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    C.W. Woodall; K. Zhu; J.A. Westfall; C.M. Oswalt; A.W. D' Amato; B.F. Walters; H.E. Lintz

    2013-01-01

    Shifts in tree species ranges may occur due to global climate change, which in turn may be exacerbated by natural disturbance events. Within the context of global climate change, developing techniques to monitor tree range dynamics as affected by natural disturbances may enable mitigation/adaptation of projected impacts. Using a forest inventory across the eastern U.S...

  13. Adapting fire management to future fire regimes: impacts on boreal forest composition and carbon balance in Canadian National Parks

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Groot, W. J.; Flannigan, M. D.; Cantin, A.

    2009-04-01

    The effects of future fire regimes altered by climate change, and fire management in adaptation to climate change were studied in the boreal forest region of western Canada. Present (1975-90) and future (2080-2100) fire regimes were simulated for several National Parks using data from the Canadian (CGCM1) and Hadley (HadCM3) Global Climate Models (GCM) in separate simulation scenarios. The long-term effects of the different fire regimes on forests were simulated using a stand-level, boreal fire effects model (BORFIRE). Changes in forest composition and biomass storage due to future altered fire regimes were determined by comparing current and future simulation results. This was used to assess the ecological impact of altered fire regimes on boreal forests, and the future role of these forests as carbon sinks or sources. Additional future simulations were run using adapted fire management strategies, including increased fire suppression and the use of prescribed fire to meet fire cycle objectives. Future forest composition, carbon storage and emissions under current and adapted fire management strategies were also compared to determine the impact of various future fire management options. Both of the GCM's showed more severe burning conditions under future fire regimes. This includes fires with higher intensity, greater depth of burn, greater total fuel consumption and shorter fire cycles (or higher rates of annual area burned). The Canadian GCM indicated burning conditions more severe than the Hadley GCM. Shorter fire cycles of future fire regimes generally favoured aspen, birch, and jack pine because it provided more frequent regeneration opportunity for these pioneer species. Black spruce was only minimally influenced by future fire regimes, although white spruce declined sharply. Maintaining representation of pure and mixed white spruce ecosystems in natural areas will be a concern under future fire regimes. Active fire suppression is required in these areas. In

  14. Detecting Local Drivers of Fire Cycle Heterogeneity in Boreal Forests: A Scale Issue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annie Claude Bélisle

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Severe crown fires are determining disturbances for the composition and structure of boreal forests in North America. Fire cycle (FC associations with continental climate gradients are well known, but smaller scale controls remain poorly documented. Using a time since fire map (time scale of 300 years, the study aims to assess the relative contributions of local and regional controls on FC and to describe the relationship between FC heterogeneity and vegetation patterns. The study area, located in boreal eastern North America, was partitioned into watersheds according to five scales going from local (3 km2 to landscape (2800 km2 scales. Using survival analysis, we observed that dry surficial deposits and hydrography density better predict FC when measured at the local scale, while terrain complexity and slope position perform better when measured at the middle and landscape scales. The most parsimonious model was selected according to the Akaike information criterion to predict FC throughout the study area. We detected two FC zones, one short (159 years and one long (303 years, with specific age structures and tree compositions. We argue that the local heterogeneity of the fire regime contributes to ecosystem diversity and must be considered in ecosystem management.

  15. Understanding the effects of fire management practices on forest health: implications for weeds and vegetation structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anne E. Black; Peter Landres

    2012-01-01

    Current fire policy to restore ecosystem function and resiliency and reduce buildup of hazardous fuels implies a larger future role for fire (both natural and human ignitions) (USDA Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior 2000). Yet some fire management (such as building fire line, spike camps, or helispots) potentially causes both short- and longterm...

  16. Presettlement fire regime and vegetation mapping in Southeastern Coastal Plain forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew D. Bailey; Robert Mickler; Cecil Frost

    2007-01-01

    Fire-adapted forest ecosystems make up 95 percent of the historic Coastal Plain vegetation types in the Southeastern United States. Fire suppression over the last century has altered the species composition of these ecosystems, increased fuel loads, and increased wildfire risk. Prescribed fire is one management tool used to reduce fuel loading and restore fire-adapted...

  17. Fire frequency effects on fuel loadings in pine-oak forests of the Madrean Province

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francisco J. Escobedo; Peter F. Ffolliott; Gerald J. Gottfried; Florentino Garza

    2001-01-01

    Loadings of downed woody fuels in pine-oak forests of the Madrean Province are heavier on sites in southeastern Arizona with low fire frequencies and lower on sites in northeastern Sonora, Mexico, with high fire frequencies. Low fire frequencies in southeastern Arizona are attributed largely to past land uses and the fire suppression policies of land management...

  18. Aerial wildland firefighting resources in fire suppression activities: an example USDA Forest Service

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. González-Cabán

    2011-01-01

    Wildfires are a significant social problem affecting millions of people worldwide and causing major economic impacts at all levels. In the US, the severe fires of 1910 in Idaho and Montana galvanized a fire policy excluding fire from the ecosystem by the U.S.Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USDAFS). Fire management policy changed in 1935, 1978,1995, and 2001....

  19. Linking complex forest fuel structure and fire behavior at fine scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    EL Loudermilk; Joseph O' Brien; RJ Mitchell; JK Hiers; WP Cropper; S Grunwald; J Grego; J Fernandez

    2012-01-01

    Improved fire management of savannas and open woodlands requires better understanding of the fundamental connection between fuel heterogeneity, variation in fire behaviour and the influence of fire variation on vegetation feedbacks. In this study, we introduce a novel approach to predicting fire behaviour at the submetre scale, including measurements of forest...

  20. Using Landsat time series for characterizing forest disturbance dynamics in the coupled human and natural systems of Central Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senf, Cornelius; Pflugmacher, Dirk; Hostert, Patrick; Seidl, Rupert

    2017-08-01

    Remote sensing is a key information source for improving the spatiotemporal understanding of forest ecosystem dynamics. Yet, the mapping and attribution of forest change remains challenging, particularly in areas where a number of interacting disturbance agents simultaneously affect forest development. The forest ecosystems of Central Europe are coupled human and natural systems, with natural and human disturbances affecting forests both individually and in combination. To better understand the complex forest disturbance dynamics in such systems, we utilize 32-year Landsat time series to map forest disturbances in five sites across Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia. All sites consisted of a National Park and the surrounding forests, reflecting three management zones of different levels of human influence (managed, protected, strictly protected). This allowed for a comparison of spectral, temporal, and spatial disturbance patterns across a gradient from natural to coupled human and natural disturbances. Disturbance maps achieved overall accuracies ranging from 81% to 93%. Disturbance patches were generally small, with 95% of the disturbances being smaller than 10 ha. Disturbance rates ranged from 0.29% yr-1 to 0.95% yr-1, and differed substantially among management zones and study sites. Natural disturbances in strictly protected areas were longer in duration (median of 8 years) and slightly less variable in magnitude compared to human-dominated disturbances in managed forests (median duration of 1 year). However, temporal dynamics between natural and human-dominated disturbances showed strong synchrony, suggesting that disturbance peaks are driven by natural events affecting managed and unmanaged areas simultaneously. Our study demonstrates the potential of remote sensing for mapping forest disturbances in coupled human and natural systems, such as the forests of Central Europe. Yet, we also highlight the complexity of such systems in terms

  1. Effects of periodic fire on composition and long-term dynamics of Arkansas upland hardwood forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin A. Spetich

    2005-01-01

    Prescribed fire (at historic periodic fire frequencies) is seen as an important but little understood tool in the assortment of management techniques that could help restore oak to Arkansas upland hardwood forests and facilitate the maintenance of these keystone species.

  2. Estimate of biomass and carbon pools in disturbed and undisturbed oak forests in Tunisia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lobna Zribi

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Aim of the study. To estimate biomass and carbon accumulation in a young and disturbed forest (regenerated after a tornado and an aged cork oak forest (undisturbed forest as well as its distribution among the different pools (tree, litter and soil. Area of study. The north west of Tunisia Material and methods. Carbon stocks were evaluated in the above and belowground cork oak trees, the litter and the 150 cm of the soil. Tree biomass was estimated in both young and aged forests using allometric biomass equations developed for wood stem, cork stem, wood branch, cork branch, leaves, roots and total tree biomass based on combinations of diameter at breast height, total height and crown length as independent variables. Main results. Total tree biomass in forests was 240.58 Mg ha-1 in the young forest and 411.30 Mg ha-1 in the aged forest with a low root/shoot ratio (0.41 for young forest and 0.31 for aged forest. Total stored carbon was 419.46 Mg C ha-1 in the young forest and 658.09 Mg C ha-1 in the aged forest. Carbon stock (Mg C ha-1 was estimated to be113.61(27.08% and 194.08 (29.49% in trees, 3.55 (0.85% and 5.73 (0.87% in litter and 302.30 (72.07% and 458.27 (69.64% in soil in the young and aged forests, respectively. Research highlights. Aged undisturbed forest had the largest tree biomass but a lower potential for accumulation of carbon in the future; in contrast, young disturbed forest had both higher growth and carbon storage potential. Keywords: Tree biomass; disturbance; allometry; cork oak forests; soil organic carbon stock.

  3. Unsupported inferences of high-severity fire in historical dry forests of the western United States: Response to Williams and Baker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulé, Peter Z.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Brown, Peter M.; Falk, Donald A.; Peterson, David L.; Allen, Craig D.; Aplet, Gregory H.; Battaglia, Mike A.; Binkley, Dan; Farris, Calvin; Keane, Robert E.; Margolis, Ellis Q.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri; Miller, Carol; Sieg, Carolyn Hull; Skinner, Carl; Stephens, Scott L.; Taylor, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Reconstructions of dry western US forests in the late 19th century in Arizona, Colorado and Oregon based on General Land Office records were used by Williams & Baker (2012; Global Ecology and Biogeography, 21, 1042–1052; hereafter W&B) to infer past fire regimes with substantial moderate and high-severity burning. The authors concluded that present-day large, high-severity fires are not distinguishable from historical patterns. We present evidence of important errors in their study. First, the use of tree size distributions to reconstruct past fire severity and extent is not supported by empirical age–size relationships nor by studies that directly quantified disturbance history in these forests. Second, the fire severity classification of W&B is qualitatively different from most modern classification schemes, and is based on different types of data, leading to an inappropriate comparison. Third, we note that while W&B asserted ‘surprising’ heterogeneity in their reconstructions of stand density and species composition, their data are not substantially different from many previous studies which reached very different conclusions about subsequent forest and fire behaviour changes. Contrary to the conclusions of W&B, the preponderance of scientific evidence indicates that conservation of dry forest ecosystems in the western United States and their ecological, social and economic value is not consistent with a present-day disturbance regime of large, high-severity fires, especially under changing climate

  4. Modeling insect disturbance across forested landscapes: Insights from the spruce budworm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian R. Sturtevant; Barry J. Cooke; Daniel D. Kneeshaw; David A. MacLean

    2015-01-01

    Insects are important disturbance agents affecting temperate and boreal biomes (Wermelinger 2004; Johnson et al. 2005; Cooke et al. 2007; Raffa et al. 2008). Defoliating insects in particular have historically affected a staggering area of North American forests, particularly across the boreal biome (Fig. 5.1). Principal among these boreal forest defoliators is the...

  5. Disturbance and topography shape nitrogen availability and ä15N over long-term forest succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven S. Perakis; Alan J. Tepley; Jana E. Compton

    2015-01-01

    Forest disturbance and long-term succession towards old-growth are thought to increase nitrogen (N) availability and N loss, which should increase soil ä15N values. We examined soil and foliar patterns in N and ä15N, and soil N mineralization, across 800 years of forest succession in a topographically complex montane...

  6. Disturbance and topography shape nitrogen availability and δ15N over long-term forest succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forest disturbance and long-term succession can promote open N cycling that increases N loss and soil δ15N values. We examined soil and foliar patterns in N and δ15N, and soil N mineralization, across a topographically complex montane forest landscape influenced by human logging ...

  7. Seed longevity and dormancy state in a disturbance-dependent forest herb, Ageratina altissima

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mame E. Redwood; Glenn R. Matlack; Cynthia D. Huebner

    2016-01-01

    Does seed dormancy allow disturbance-oriented forest herbs such as Ageratina altissima to persist in heterogeneous natural communities? To document seed longevity and dormancy state, Ageratina seeds were buried in nylon mesh bags in second-growth forest stands in south-eastern Ohio, USA. Bags were recovered at 2-month intervals...

  8. Disturbance and net ecosystem production across three climatically distinct forest landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    John L. Campbell; O.J. Sun; B.E. Law

    2004-01-01

    Biometric techniques were used to measure net ecosystem production (NEP) across three climatically distinct forest chronosequences in Oregon. NEP was highly negative immediately following stand-replacing disturbance in all forests and recovered to positive values by 10, 20, and 30 years of age for the mild mesic Coast Range, mesic West Cascades, and semi-arid East...

  9. Seeking potential contributions to future carbon budget in conterminous US forests considering disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fangmin Zhang; Yude Pan; Richard A. Birdsey; Jing M. Chen; Alexa Dugan

    2017-01-01

    Currently, US forests constitute a large carbon sink, comprising about 9 % of the global terrestrial carbon sink. Wildfire is the most significant disturbance influencing carbon dynamics in US forests. Our objective is to estimate impacts of climate change, CO2 concentration, and nitrogen deposition on the future net biome productivity (NBP) of...

  10. A decade of belowground reorganization following multiple disturbances in a subtropical wet forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Y.A. Teh; W.L. Silver; F.N. Scatena

    2009-01-01

    Humid tropical forests are dynamic ecosystems that experience multiple and overlapping disturbance events that vary in frequency, intensity, and spatial extent. Here we report the results of a 10-year study investigating the effects of forest clearing and multiple hurricanes on ecosystem carbon reservoirs, nutrient pools and vegetation. The aboveground plant community...

  11. Forest carbon dynamics associated with growth and disturbances in Oklahoma and Texas, 1992-2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daolan Zheng; Linda S. Heath; Mark J. Ducey; James E. Smith

    2013-01-01

    Quantifying forest carbon changes associated with growth and major disturbances is important for management of greenhouse gas emissions related to forests. Regional-level approaches with improved local growth data may refine estimates obtained using coarser resolution information. This study integrates remote-sensing-derived land cover change products, harvest data,...

  12. Fire regimes approaching historic norms reduce wildfire-facilitated conversion from forest to non-forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan B. Walker; Jonathan D. Coop; Sean A. Parks; Laura Trader

    2018-01-01

    Extensive high-severity wildfires have driven major losses of ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests in the southwestern United States, in some settings catalyzing enduring conversions to nonforested vegetation types. Management interventions to reduce the probability of stand-replacing wildfire have included mechanical fuel treatments, prescribed fire, and wildfire...

  13. Carbon dynamics in the future forest: the importance of long-term successional legacy and climate-fire interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loudermilk, E Louise; Scheller, Robert M; Weisberg, Peter J; Yang, Jian; Dilts, Thomas E; Karam, Sarah L; Skinner, Carl

    2013-11-01

    Understanding how climate change may influence forest carbon (C) budgets requires knowledge of forest growth relationships with regional climate, long-term forest succession, and past and future disturbances, such as wildfires and timber harvesting events. We used a landscape-scale model of forest succession, wildfire, and C dynamics (LANDIS-II) to evaluate the effects of a changing climate (A2 and B1 IPCC emissions; Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory General Circulation Models) on total forest C, tree species composition, and wildfire dynamics in the Lake Tahoe Basin, California, and Nevada. The independent effects of temperature and precipitation were assessed within and among climate models. Results highlight the importance of modeling forest succession and stand development processes at the landscape scale for understanding the C cycle. Due primarily to landscape legacy effects of historic logging of the Comstock Era in the late 1880s, C sequestration may continue throughout the current century, and the forest will remain a C sink (Net Ecosystem Carbon Balance > 0), regardless of climate regime. Climate change caused increases in temperatures limited simulated C sequestration potential because of augmented fire activity and reduced establishment ability of subalpine and upper montane trees. Higher temperatures influenced forest response more than reduced precipitation. As the forest reached its potential steady state, the forest could become C neutral or a C source, and climate change could accelerate this transition. The future of forest ecosystem C cycling in many forested systems worldwide may depend more on major disturbances and landscape legacies related to land use than on projected climate change alone. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  14. Assessing Metrics for Estimating Fire Induced Change in the Forest Understorey Structure Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning

    OpenAIRE

    Gupta, Vaibhav; Reinke, Karin; Jones, Simon; Wallace, Luke; Holden, Lucas

    2015-01-01

    Quantifying post-fire effects in a forested landscape is important to ascertain burn severity, ecosystem recovery and post-fire hazard assessments and mitigation planning. Reporting of such post-fire effects assumes significance in fire-prone countries such as USA, Australia, Spain, Greece and Portugal where prescribed burns are routinely carried out. This paper describes the use of Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) to estimate and map change in the forest understorey following a prescribed bu...

  15. Summer moisture of forest fire fuels in Oregon and Washington in 1948 and previous years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    William G. Morris

    1948-01-01

    The forest fire season of 1948 in Oregon and Washington was regarded by fire suppression agencies as the most favorable for many years. The number of fires started and area burned were, in general, less than for many years. On the national forests the number of fires was the least since 1912 and the acreage burned was the least ever recorded. Was this primarily due to...

  16. Visibility analysis of fire lookout towers in the Boyabat State Forest Enterprise in Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kucuk, Omer; Topaloglu, Ozer; Altunel, Arif Oguz; Cetin, Mehmet

    2017-07-01

    For a successful fire suppression, it is essential to detect and intervene forest fires as early as possible. Fire lookout towers are crucial assets in detecting forest fires, in addition to other technological advancements. In this study, we performed a visibility analysis on a network of fire lookout towers currently operating in a relatively fire-prone region in Turkey's Western Black Sea region. Some of these towers had not been functioning properly; it was proposed that these be taken out of the grid and replaced with new ones. The percentage of visible areas under the current network of fire lookout towers was 73%; it could rise to 81% with the addition of newly proposed towers. This study was the first research to conduct a visibility analysis of current and newly proposed fire lookout towers in the Western Black Sea region and focus on its forest fire problem.

  17. Mapping post-disturbance stand age distribution in Siberian larch forest based on a novel method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, D.; Loboda, T. V.; Krylov, A.; Potapov, P.

    2014-12-01

    The Siberian larch forest, which accounts for nearly 20% of the global boreal forest biome, is unique, important, yet significantly understudied. These deciduous needleleaf forests with a single species dominance over a large continuous area are not found anywhere except the extreme continental zones of Siberia and the Russian Far East. Most of these forests are located in remote and sparsely populated areas and, therefore, little is known about spatial variability of their structure and dynamics. Wall-to-wall repeated observations of this area are available only since the 2000s. Previously, we developed methods for reconstruction of stand-age distribution from a sample of 1980-2000 disturbances in Landsat TM and ETM+ imagery. However, availability of those images in Siberian larch forests is particularly limited. Built upon the hypothesis that the spectral characteristics of the disturbed forest in the region change with time consistently, this paper proposes a novel method utilizing the newly released Global Forest Change (GFC) 2000-2012 dataset. We exploit the data-rich era of annual forest disturbance samples identified between 2000 and 2012 in the Siberian larch forest by the GFC dataset to build a robust training set of spectral signatures from regrowing larch forests as they appear in Landsat imagery in 2012. The extracted statistics are ingested into a random forest, which predicts the approximate stand age for every forested pixel in the circa 2000 composite. After merging the estimated stand age distribution for 1989-2000 with the observed disturbance records for 2001-2012, a gap-free 30 m resolution 24-year long record of stand age distribution is obtained. A preliminary accuracy assessment against the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) burned area product suggested satisfactory performance of the proposed method.

  18. Fragmentation increases wind disturbance impacts on forest structure and carbon stocks in a western Amazonian landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Naomi B; Uriarte, María; DeFries, Ruth; Bedka, Kristopher M; Fernandes, Katia; Gutiérrez-Vélez, Victor; Pinedo-Vasquez, Miguel A

    2017-09-01

    Tropical second-growth forests could help mitigate climate change, but the degree to which their carbon potential is achieved will depend on exposure to disturbance. Wind disturbance is common in tropical forests, shaping structure, composition, and function, and influencing successional trajectories. However, little is known about the impacts of extreme winds on second-growth forests in fragmented landscapes, though these ecosystems are often located in mosaics of forest, pasture, cropland, and other land cover types. Indirect evidence suggests that fragmentation increases risk of wind damage in tropical forests, but no studies have found such impacts following severe storms. In this study, we ask whether fragmentation and forest type (old vs. second growth) were associated with variation in wind damage after a severe convective storm in a fragmented production landscape in western Amazonia. We applied linear spectral unmixing to Landsat 8 imagery from before and after the storm, and combined it with field observations of damage to map wind effects on forest structure and biomass. We also used Landsat 8 imagery to map land cover with the goals of identifying old- and second-growth forest and characterizing fragmentation. We used these data to assess variation in wind disturbance across 95,596 ha of forest, distributed over 6,110 patches. We find that fragmentation is significantly associated with wind damage, with damage severity higher at forest edges and in edgier, more isolated patches. Damage was also more severe in old-growth than in second-growth forests, but this effect was weaker than that of fragmentation. These results illustrate the importance of considering landscape context in planning tropical forest restoration and natural regeneration projects. Assessments of long-term carbon sequestration potential need to consider spatial variation in disturbance exposure. Where risk of extreme winds is high, minimizing fragmentation and isolation could increase

  19. Remote sensing of forest insect disturbances: Current state and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senf, Cornelius; Seidl, Rupert; Hostert, Patrick

    2017-08-01

    Insect disturbance are important agents of change in forest ecosystems around the globe, yet their spatial and temporal distribution and dynamics are not well understood. Remote sensing has gained much attention in mapping and understanding insect outbreak dynamics. Consequently, we here review the current literature on the remote sensing of insect disturbances. We suggest to group studies into three insect types: bark beetles, broadleaved defoliators, and coniferous defoliators. By so doing, we systematically compare the sensors and methods used for mapping insect disturbances within and across insect types. Results suggest that there are substantial differences between methods used for mapping bark beetles and defoliators, and between methods used for mapping broadleaved and coniferous defoliators. Following from this, we highlight approaches that are particularly suited for each insect type. Finally, we conclude by highlighting future research directions for remote sensing of insect disturbances. In particular, we suggest to: 1) Separate insect disturbances from other agents; 2) Extend the spatial and temporal domain of analysis; 3) Make use of dense time series; 4) Operationalize near-real time monitoring of insect disturbances; 5) Identify insect disturbances in the context of coupled human-natural systems; and 6) Improve reference data for assessing insect disturbances. Since the remote sensing of insect disturbances has gained much interest beyond the remote sensing community recently, the future developments identified here will help integrating remote sensing products into operational forest management. Furthermore, an improved spatiotemporal quantification of insect disturbances will support an inclusion of these processes into regional to global ecosystem models.

  20. Investigating Forest Soil Disturbance with Different Timber Harvesting Operations in South Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Im, Sangjun; Lee, Eunjai; Eu, Song; Han, Sang-Kyun

    2017-04-01

    Forest operation such as timber harvesting can influence to forest environment by displacing soil particles, compacting surface layers, and destroying soil structures. This results in increased surface runoff and associated soil erosion during rainy season, due to soil disturbance. The extent of soil disturbance depends on the skidding/yarding method, types of machine used, and soil types. In South Korea, cut-to-length (CTL) operation is traditionally used by excavator with grapple in most areas. Recently, whole-tree (WT) harvesting system by swing yarder has gained considerable attention as an alternative traditional extraction method. The objectives of this study were to describe the effects of two different harvesting methods (CTL and WT) on soil disturbance and soil physical properties. After the CTL observation, we found that severe disturbed soils and compacted area were more than WT. Rutting was influenced more than 50% of the deep disturbance classes by the uphill climbing and downhill extraction method, while exposing bare soil was most disturbance in WT operation. Soil physical properties were influenced considerably by the number of excavator passes and slash residual classes in both units. The results from the study would be useful for understanding soil disturbance influence by timber harvesting in Korea. But, more detailed observations are needed to accurately estimate erosion rates and sediment delivery associated with forest management and operation. Acknowledgements. This study was carried out with the support of 'R&D Program for Forestry Technology (Project No. S211316L020110)' provided by Korea Forest Service.

  1. Land cover, more than monthly fire weather, drives fire-size distribution in Southern Québec forests: Implications for fire risk management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchal, Jean; Cumming, Steve G; McIntire, Eliot J B

    2017-01-01

    Fire activity in North American forests is expected to increase substantially with climate change. This would represent a growing risk to human settlements and industrial infrastructure proximal to forests, and to the forest products industry. We modelled fire size distributions in southern Québec as functions of fire weather and land cover, thus explicitly integrating some of the biotic interactions and feedbacks in a forest-wildfire system. We found that, contrary to expectations, land-cover and not fire weather was the primary driver of fire size in our study region. Fires were highly selective on fuel-type under a wide range of fire weather conditions: specifically, deciduous forest, lakes and to a lesser extent recently burned areas decreased the expected fire size in their vicinity compared to conifer forest. This has large implications for fire risk management in that fuels management could reduce fire risk over the long term. Our results imply, for example, that if 30% of a conifer-dominated landscape were converted to hardwoods, the probability of a given fire, occurring in that landscape under mean fire weather conditions, exceeding 100,000 ha would be reduced by a factor of 21. A similarly marked but slightly smaller effect size would be expected under extreme fire weather conditions. We attribute the decrease in expected fire size that occurs in recently burned areas to fuel availability limitations on fires spread. Because regenerating burned conifer stands often pass through a deciduous stage, this would also act as a negative biotic feedback whereby the occurrence of fires limits the size of nearby future for some period of time. Our parameter estimates imply that changes in vegetation flammability or fuel availability after fires would tend to counteract shifts in the fire size distribution favoring larger fires that are expected under climate warming. Ecological forecasts from models neglecting these feedbacks may markedly overestimate the

  2. Land cover, more than monthly fire weather, drives fire-size distribution in Southern Québec forests: Implications for fire risk management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean Marchal

    Full Text Available Fire activity in North American forests is expected to increase substantially with climate change. This would represent a growing risk to human settlements and industrial infrastructure proximal to forests, and to the forest products industry. We modelled fire size distributions in southern Québec as functions of fire weather and land cover, thus explicitly integrating some of the biotic interactions and feedbacks in a forest-wildfire system. We found that, contrary to expectations, land-cover and not fire weather was the primary driver of fire size in our study region. Fires were highly selective on fuel-type under a wide range of fire weather conditions: specifically, deciduous forest, lakes and to a lesser extent recently burned areas decreased the expected fire size in their vicinity compared to conifer forest. This has large implications for fire risk management in that fuels management could reduce fire risk over the long term. Our results imply, for example, that if 30% of a conifer-dominated landscape were converted to hardwoods, the probability of a given fire, occurring in that landscape under mean fire weather conditions, exceeding 100,000 ha would be reduced by a factor of 21. A similarly marked but slightly smaller effect size would be expected under extreme fire weather conditions. We attribute the decrease in expected fire size that occurs in recently burned areas to fuel availability limitations on fires spread. Because regenerating burned conifer stands often pass through a deciduous stage, this would also act as a negative biotic feedback whereby the occurrence of fires limits the size of nearby future for some period of time. Our parameter estimates imply that changes in vegetation flammability or fuel availability after fires would tend to counteract shifts in the fire size distribution favoring larger fires that are expected under climate warming. Ecological forecasts from models neglecting these feedbacks may markedly

  3. Impacts of fire on forest age and runoff in mountain ash forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, S.A.; Beringer, J.; Hutley, L.B.; McGuire, A.D.; Van Dijk, A.; Kilinc, M.

    2008-01-01

    Runoff from mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans F.Muell.) forested catchments has been shown to decline significantly in the few decades following fire - returning to pre-fire levels in the following centuries - owing to changes in ecosystem water use with stand age in a relationship known as Kuczera's model. We examined this relationship between catchment runoff and stand age by measuring whole-ecosystem exchanges of water using an eddy covariance system measuring forest evapotranspiration (ET) combined with sap-flow measurements of tree water use, with measurements made across a chronosequence of three sites (24, 80 and 296 years since fire). At the 296-year old site eddy covariance systems were installed above the E. regnans overstorey and above the distinct rainforest understorey. Contrary to predictions from the Kuczera curve, we found that measurements of whole-forest ET decreased by far less across stand age between 24 and 296 years. Although the overstorey tree water use declined by 1.8 mm day-1 with increasing forest age (an annual decrease of 657 mm) the understorey ET contributed between 1.2 and 1.5 mm day-1, 45% of the total ET (3 mm day-1) at the old growth forest. ?? CSIRO 2008.

  4. Controls on variations in MODIS fire radiative power in Alaskan boreal forests: implications for fire severity conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Kirsten; Kasischke, Eric S.

    2013-01-01

    Fire activity in the Alaskan boreal forest, though episodic at annual and intra-annual time scales, has experienced an increase over the last several decades. Increases in burned area and fire severity are not only releasing more carbon to the atmosphere, but likely shifting vegetation composition in the region towards greater deciduous dominance and a reduction in coniferous stands. While some recent studies have addressed qualitative differences between large and small fire years in the Alaskan boreal forest, the ecological effects of a greater proportion of burning occurring during large fire years and during late season fires have not yet been examined. Some characteristics of wildfires that can be detected remotely are related to fire severity and can provide new information on spatial and temporal patterns of burning. This analysis focused on boreal wildfire intensity (fire radiative power, or FRP) contained in the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) daily active fire product from 2003 to 2010. We found that differences in FRP resulted from seasonality and intra-annual variability in fire activity levels, vegetation composition, latitudinal variation, and fire spread behavior. Our studies determined two general categories of active fire detections: new detections associated with the spread of the fire front and residual pixels in areas that had already experienced front burning. Residual pixels had a lower average FRP than front pixels, but represented a high percentage of all pixels during periods of high fire activity (large fire years, late season burning, and seasonal periods of high fire activity). As a result, the FRP from periods of high fire activity was less intense than those from periods of low fire activity. Differences related to latitude were greater than expected, with higher latitudes burning later in the season and at a higher intensity than lower latitudes. Differences in vegetation type indicate that coniferous vegetation

  5. Tree species diversity mitigates disturbance impacts on the forest carbon cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedro, Mariana Silva; Rammer, Werner; Seidl, Rupert

    2015-03-01

    Biodiversity fosters the functioning and stability of forest ecosystems and, consequently, the provision of crucial ecosystem services that support human well-being and quality of life. In particular, it has been suggested that tree species diversity buffers ecosystems against the impacts of disturbances, a relationship known as the "insurance hypothesis". Natural disturbances have increased across Europe in recent decades and climate change is expected to amplify the frequency and severity of disturbance events. In this context, mitigating disturbance impacts and increasing the resilience of forest ecosystems is of growing importance. We have tested how tree species diversity modulates the impact of disturbance on net primary production and the total carbon stored in living biomass for a temperate forest landscape in Central Europe. Using the simulation model iLand to study the effect of different disturbance regimes on landscapes with varying levels of tree species richness, we found that increasing diversity generally reduces the disturbance impact on carbon storage and uptake, but that this effect weakens or even reverses with successional development. Our simulations indicate a clear positive relationship between diversity and resilience, with more diverse systems experiencing lower disturbance-induced variability in their trajectories of ecosystem functioning. We found that positive effects of tree species diversity are mainly driven by an increase in functional diversity and a modulation of traits related to recolonization and resource usage. The results of our study suggest that increasing tree species diversity could mitigate the effects of intensifying disturbance regimes on ecosystem functioning and improve the robustness of forest carbon storage and the role of forests in climate change mitigation.

  6. Influence of Fire Mosaics, Habitat Characteristics and Cattle Disturbance on Mammals in Fire-Prone Savanna Landscapes of the Northern Kimberley.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian J Radford

    Full Text Available Patch mosaic burning, in which fire is used to produce a mosaic of habitat patches representative of a range of fire histories ('pyrodiversity', has been widely advocated to promote greater biodiversity. However, the details of desired fire mosaics for prescribed burning programs are often unspecified. Threatened small to medium-sized mammals (35 g to 5.5 kg in the fire-prone tropical savannas of Australia appear to be particularly fire-sensitive. Consequently, a clear understanding of which properties of fire mosaics are most instrumental in influencing savanna mammal populations is critical. Here we use mammal capture data, remotely sensed fire information (i.e. time since last fire, fire frequency, frequency of late dry season fires, diversity of post-fire ages in 3 km radius, and spatial extent of recently burnt, intermediate and long unburnt habitat and structural habitat attributes (including an index of cattle disturbance to examine which characteristics of fire mosaics most influence mammals in the north-west Kimberley. We used general linear models to examine the relationship between fire mosaic and habitat attributes on total mammal abundance and richness, and the abundance of the most commonly detected species. Strong negative associations of mammal abundance and richness with frequency of late dry season fires, the spatial extent of recently burnt habitat (post-fire age <1 year within 3 km radius and level of cattle disturbance were observed. Shrub cover was positively related to both mammal abundance and richness, and availability of rock crevices, ground vegetation cover and spatial extent of ≥4 years unburnt habitat were all positively associated with at least some of the mammal species modelled. We found little support for diversity of post-fire age classes in the models. Our results indicate that both a high frequency of intense late dry season fires and extensive, recently burnt vegetation are likely to be detrimental to

  7. Integrating Landsat-derived disturbance maps with FIA inventory data: Applications for state-Level forest resource assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonja Oswalt; Chengquan Huang; Hua Shi; James Vogelmann; Zhiliang Zhu; Samuel N. Goward; John Coulston

    2009-01-01

    Landsat images have been widely used for assessing forest characteristics and dynamics. Recently, significant progress has been made towards indepth exploration of the rich Landsat archive kept by the U.S. Geological Survey to improve our under standing of forest disturbance and recovery processes. In this study, we used Landsat images to map forest disturbances at...

  8. Resilience of ponderosa and lodgepole pine forests to mountain pine beetle disturbance and limited regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, Jenny S.; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Vandendriesche, Don

    2015-01-01

    After causing widespread mortality in lodgepole pine forests in North America, the mountain pine beetle (MPB) has recently also affected ponderosa pine, an alternate host species that may have different levels of resilience to this disturbance. We collected field data in ponderosa pine- and lodgepole pine-dominated forests attacked by MPB in Colorado and then simulated stand growth over 200 years using the Forest Vegetation Simulator. We compared scenarios of no disturbance with scenarios of MPB-caused mortality, both with and without regeneration. Results indicated that basal area and tree density recovered to predisturbance levels relatively rapidly (within 1‐8 decades) in both forest types. However, convergence of the disturbed conditions with simulated undisturbed conditions took longer (12‐20+ decades) and was delayed by the absence of regeneration. In MPB-affected ponderosa pine forests without regeneration, basal area did not converge with undisturbed conditions within 200 years, implying lower resilience in this ecosystem. Surface fuels accumulated rapidly in both forest types after MPB-induced mortality, remaining high for 3‐6 decades in simulations. Our results suggest that future patterns of succession, regeneration, fuel loading, climate, and disturbance interactions over long time periods should be considered in management strategies addressing MPB effects in either forest type, but particularly in ponderosa pine.

  9. The impact of future forest dynamics on climate: interactive effects of changing vegetation and disturbance regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thom, Dominik; Rammer, Werner; Seidl, Rupert

    2017-11-01

    Currently, the temperate forest biome cools the earth's climate and dampens anthropogenic climate change. However, climate change will substantially alter forest dynamics in the future, affecting the climate regulation function of forests. Increasing natural disturbances can reduce carbon uptake and evaporative cooling, but at the same time increase the albedo of a landscape. Simultaneous changes in vegetation composition can mitigate disturbance impacts, but also influence climate regulation directly (e.g., via albedo changes). As a result of a number of interactive drivers (changes in climate, vegetation, and disturbance) and their simultaneous effects on climate-relevant processes (carbon exchange, albedo, latent heat flux) the future climate regulation function of forests remains highly uncertain. Here we address these complex interactions to assess the effect of future forest dynamics on the climate system. Our specific objectives were (1) to investigate the long-term interactions between changing vegetation composition and disturbance regimes under climate change, (2) to quantify the response of climate regulation to changes in forest dynamics, and (3) to identify the main drivers of the future influence of forests on the climate system. We investigated these issues using the individual-based forest landscape and disturbance model (iLand). Simulations were run over 200 yr for Kalkalpen National Park (Austria), assuming different future climate projections