Characterising fire spatial pattern interactions with climate and vegetation in Colombia

Armenteras-Pascual D., Retana-Alumbreros J., Molowny-Horas R., Roman-Cuesta R.M., Gonzalez-Alonso F., Morales-Rivas M. (2011) Characterising fire spatial pattern interactions with climate and vegetation in Colombia. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 151: 279-289.
Enllaç
Doi: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2010.11.002

Resum:

Vegetation burning in tropical countries is a threat to the environment, causing not only local ecological, economic and social impacts, but also large-scale implications for global change. The burning is usually a result of interacting factors, such as climate, land-use and vegetation type. Satellite-derived monthly time series datasets of rainfall, burned area and active fire detections between December 2000 and 2009 were used in this study. A map of vegetation types was also used to determine these factors' spatial and temporal variability and interactions with the total amount of burned area and active fires detected in Colombia. Grasslands represented the vegetation most affected by fires every year in terms of burned area (standardised by their total area), followed by secondary vegetation, pasture and forests. Grasslands were also most affected by active fires, but followed closely by pasture, agricultural areas, secondary vegetation and forests. The results indicated strong climate and fire seasonality and marked regional difference, partly explained by climatic differences amongst regions and vegetation types, especially in the Orinoco and Caribbean regions. The incidence of fire in the Amazon and Andes was less influenced by climate in terms of burned area impacted, but the strength of the ENSO phenomenon affected the Orinoco and the Andes more in terms of burned area. Many of the active fires detected occurred in areas of transition between the submontane and lowland Andes and the Amazon, where extensive conversion to pasture is occurring. The possible high impact of small fires on the tropical rainforest present in this transition area and the Amazonian rainforest deserves more attention in Colombia due to its previous lack of attention to its contribution to global change. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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Patterns and trends of forest loss in the Colombian Guyana.

Rodríguez N, Armenteras D, Molowny-Horas R, Retana J (2011) Patterns and trends of forest loss in the Colombian Guyana. Biotropica doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2011.00770.x.

Contrasting winter and summer VOC mixing ratios at a forest site in the Western Mediterranean Basin: The effect of local biogenic emissions

Seco R., Peñuelas J., Filella I., Llusià J., Molowny-Horas R., Schallhart S., Metzger A., Müller M., Hansel A. (2011) Contrasting winter and summer VOC mixing ratios at a forest site in the Western Mediterranean Basin: The effect of local biogenic emissions. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 11: 13161-13179.
Enllaç
Doi: 10.5194/acp-11-13161-2011

Resum:

Atmospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are involved in ozone and aerosol generation, thus having implications for air quality and climate. VOCs and their emissions by vegetation also have important ecological roles as they can protect plants from stresses and act as communication cues between plants and between plants and animals. In spite of these key environmental and biological roles, the reports on seasonal and daily VOC mixing ratios in the literature for Mediterranean natural environments are scarce. We conducted seasonal (winter and summer) measurements of VOC mixing ratios in an elevated (720 m a.s.l.) holm oak Mediterranean forest site near the metropolitan area of Barcelona (NE Iberian Peninsula). Methanol was the most abundant compound among all the VOCs measured in both seasons. While aromatic VOCs showed almost no seasonal variability, short-chain oxygenated VOCs presented higher mixing ratios in summer, presumably due to greater emission by vegetation and increased photochemistry, both enhanced by the high temperatures and solar radiation in summer. Isoprenoid VOCs showed the biggest seasonal change in mixing ratios: they increased by one order of magnitude in summer, as a result of the vegetation's greater physiological activity and emission rates. The maximum diurnal concentrations of ozone increased in summer too, most likely due to more intense photochemical activity and the higher levels of VOCs in the air. The daily variation of VOC mixing ratios was mainly governed by the wind regime of the mountain, as the majority of the VOC species analyzed followed a very similar diel cycle. Mountain and sea breezes that develop after sunrise advect polluted air masses to the mountain. These polluted air masses had previously passed over the urban and industrial areas surrounding the Barcelona metropolitan area, where they were enriched in NO x and in VOCs of biotic and abiotic origin. Moreover, these polluted air masses receive additional biogenic VOCs emitted in the local valley by the vegetation, thus enhancing O 3 formation in this forested site. The only VOC species that showed a somewhat different daily pattern were monoterpenes because of their local biogenic emission. Isoprene also followed in part the daily pattern of monoterpenes, but only in summer when its biotic sources were stronger. The increase by one order of magnitude in the concentrations of these volatile isoprenoids highlights the importance of local biogenic summer emissions in these Mediterranean forested areas which also receive polluted air masses from nearby or distant anthropic sources. © 2011 Author(s).

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