Modeling Earth Systems and Environment

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 199–220 | Cite as

Exploring fire incidence in Portugal using generalized additive models for location, scale and shape (GAMLSS)

  • Ana C. L. SáEmail author
  • Maria A. A. Turkman
  • José M. C. Pereira
Original Article


Portuguese wildfires are responsible for large environmental, ecological and socio-economic impacts. This study explores the fire-environment relationships by modeling fire incidence (FI) against vegetation, precipitation and anthropogenic drivers. The mean, dispersion and asymmetry of the FI distribution were modelled on the predictors using the generalized additive models for location, scale and shape. Results show that increasing forests and shrublands increases FI and decreases its dispersion, highlighting high FI regions. Fire absence decreases with all the predictors except human influence, indicating its control on fire hazard. Rain-fed versus irrigated agriculture may have a dual role on FI, pointing the need to explore them separately when modeling FI drivers. Precipitation has a non-linear effect on FI distribution parameters. The role of forests on fire distribution asymmetry needs to be further explored. Modelling the previously unexplored drivers of dispersion and asymmetry of FI gives new insights into fire regime studies and fire-environmental relationships.


Non-linear Precipitation Fire distribution parameters Fire asymmetry Fire dispersion Fire environmental drivers 



Ana Sá has a post-doctoral fellowship (FSRH/BPD/71810/2010) funded by the Portuguese Foundation for the Science and Technology (FCT). This study was developed in the Forest Research Centre, a Portuguese research unit also funded by the FCT (UID/AGR/00239/2013). We acknowledge Mikis Stasinopoulos for helping on the interpretation of some of the GAMLSS functions.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana C. L. Sá
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria A. A. Turkman
    • 2
  • José M. C. Pereira
    • 1
  1. 1.Forest Research Centre, School of AgricultureUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Statistics and Operational Research, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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