Fire size and fire severity are two crucial parameters for describing fire regimes that reflect spatial heterogeneities of fire spread behavior and its interaction with the environment. Determining how environmental controls regulate these two metrics of the fire regime is of critical importance for predicting response of fire to climate change and designing strategic fire management plans. Here, we evaluated influences and relative contributions of fire weather, topography, and vegetation on fire size and fire severity in a Chinese boreal forest ecosystem. We also compared how relative contributions vary along a continuous gradient of spatial scales using a moving-window resampling approach. Results showed fire weather was the dominant driving factor for fire size, while vegetation and topography exerted stronger influences on fire severity. Such relative influences on fire size and fire severity possessed different scale dependence. For fire size, small burns (<130. ha) were mainly constrained by vegetation as it accounted for nearly 43% relative importance, but larger burns (>200. ha) were more strongly influenced by extreme fire weather conditions, which accounted for more than 50% relative importance. In contrast, the relative importance of fire weather on fire severity was always less than 20% across the entire range of spatial scales, while relative contributions of vegetation were relatively stable and always greater than 45%. Our study suggests that fuel treatments may have little effect on reducing fire size in boreal forests, but may function to mitigate the severity of future fires. Vegetation type and terrain conditions are important factors to consider for improving efficiency of fuel management.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Forest Ecology and Management|
|State||Published - Nov 15 2015|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project No. 41222004, 41171371 ), State Key Laboratory of Forest and Soil Ecology (Grant No. LFSE2013-12 ), and the Hundred Talent Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. 09YBR211SS ). We are grateful to Peter Weisberg, Thomas Dilts and Lin Qi for their constructive suggestions on earlier drafts. We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions that have greatly improved this manuscript.
© 2015 Elsevier B.V..
- Canadian fire weather index
- Environmental drivers
- Fire severity
- Fire size
- Great Xing'an Mountains
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nature and Landscape Conservation
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law