Synoptic weather conditions and changing fire regimes in a Mediterranean environment

Duane, A., Brotons, L. (2018) Synoptic weather conditions and changing fire regimes in a Mediterranean environment. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 253-254: 190-202.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2018.02.014

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Integrating fire spread patterns in fire modelling at landscape scale

Duane, A., Aquilué, N., Gil-Tena, A., Brotons, L. (2016) Integrating fire spread patterns in fire modelling at landscape scale. Environmental Modelling and Software. 86: 219-231.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2016.10.001

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Mediterranean fire regime effects on pine-oak forest landscape mosaics under global change in NE Spain

Gil-Tena A., Aquilué N., Duane A., De Cáceres M., Brotons L. (2016) Mediterranean fire regime effects on pine-oak forest landscape mosaics under global change in NE Spain. European Journal of Forest Research. 135: 403-416.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1007/s10342-016-0943-1

Resumen:

Afforestation after land abandonment and the occurrence of large fires have significantly altered the composition of pine-oak ecosystems in the Mediterranean since 1950s, the latter favouring the prevalence of oak forests and shrublands to that of pine forests. Nevertheless, our ability to integrate the processes driving these changes in modelling tools and to project them under future global change scenarios is scarce. This study aims at investigating how Mediterranean forest landscape composition and seral stages may be affected by mid-term changes in fire regime and climate. Taking Catalonia (NE Spain) as study area, we predicted yearly changes in forest landscape composition using the MEDFIRE model which allows assessing the effects of different fire regimes on landscape dynamics such as post-fire regeneration and afforestation. We considered three climatic treatments based on observed and projected climate, two fire regimes largely differing in the amount of area burnt and the number of large fires, and two fire suppression strategies. While projected afforestation continued to increase forest cover in the 2050 horizon, a climate-related harsher fire regime (higher amounts of area burnt) accelerated a shift towards landscapes progressively dominated by oaks and shrublands, thus precluding general forest maturation. Fire-sensitive pine species contributed to net forest cover loss in the worst scenarios. An active fire suppression strategy partially compensated the effects of a climate-related harsher fire regime on pine forest loss and rejuvenation, whereas variability in climate projections weakly affected spatial fire allocation and afforestation. Our results highlight the need to explicitly incorporate fire suppression strategies in forest landscape composition forecasts in the Mediterranean. At mid-term, large-scale afforestation, post-fire forest rejuvenation and landscape composition changes may alter forest ecosystem functioning and potentially interact with fire suppression planning. © 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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Predictive modelling of fire occurrences from different fire spread patterns in Mediterranean landscapes

Duane A., Pique M., Castellnou M., Brotons L. (2015) Predictive modelling of fire occurrences from different fire spread patterns in Mediterranean landscapes. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 24: 407-418.
Enlace
Doi: 10.1071/WF14040

Resumen:

Fire regimes are shifting worldwide because of global changes. The relative contribution of climate, topography and vegetation greatly determines spatial and temporal variations in fire regimes, but the interplay of these factors is not yet well understood. We introduce here a novel classification of fires according to dominant fire spread pattern, an approach considered in operational firefighting, to help understand regional-scale spatial variability in fire regimes. Here, we studied whether climate, topography and fuel variables allowed the prediction of occurrences from different fire spread patterns in Catalonia, NE Spain. We used a correlative modelling approach based on maximum entropy methods, and examined, through variation partitioning, the relative contribution of different factors on determining their occurrence. Our results accurately predicted the occurrence of different fire spread patterns, and the results were consistent when temporal validation was conducted. Although forest fuel factors made a higher contribution to the occurrence of convective fires, wind-driven fires were strongly related to topographic and climate factors. These findings may have a strong impact on investigations into how fire regimes may be projected into the future under forecast global change as they suggest that future environmental changes may affect different fire spread patterns in an idiosyncratic manner. © IAWF 2015.

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