Russian Journal of Ecology

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 507–512 | Cite as

Spatiotemporal characteristics of wildfire frequency and relative area burned in larch-dominated forests of Central Siberia

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Abstract

Wildfire frequency, relative area burned, and fire return intervals (FRI) have been studied in larchdominated forests along the transect from the southern (45° N) to the northern (73° N) distribution limits of larch stands based on analysis of satellite imagery (NOAA/AVHRR, Terra/MODIS; 1996–2015) and collection of tree cross cuts with fire scars. A significant increasing trend in fire extent (R2 = 0.50, p < 0.05) has been revealed. Histograms of fire extent and frequency are bimodal in the southern and middle taiga (with peaks in spring–summer and late summer–autumn periods) but become unimodal toward the north (>55° N). The length of FRI increases from 80 years at 62° N to ~200 years at the Arctic Circle and reaches ~300 years near the northern limit of larch stands, showing a significant inverse correlation with the length of fire season (r =–0.69). In turn, the length of fire season, area burned and FRI are closely correlated with latitudinal variation in solar irradiance (r = 0.97, 0.81, and –0.95, respectively).

Keywords

larch forests wildfire fire return intervals Central Siberia area burned climate change 

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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sukachev Institute of Forest, Siberian BranchRussian Academy of SciencesKrasnoyarskRussia

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