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



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).


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


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Koropachinskii, I.Yu. and Vstovskaya, T.N., Drevesnye rasteniya aziatskoi Rossii (Woody Plants of Asian Russia), Novosibirsk: Geo, 2002.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Forkel, M., Thonicke, K., Beer, C., et al., Extreme fire events are related to previous-year surface moisture conditions in permafrost-underlain larch forests of Siberia, Environ. Res. Lett., 2012, no. 7, 044021. doi 10.1088/1748-9326/7/4/044021CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Shvidenko, A.Z. and Schepaschenko, D.G., Climate change and wildfires in Russia, Contemp. Probl. Ecol., 2013, vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 50–61. doi 10.1134/ S199542551307010xGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kharuk, V.I., Ranson, K.J., and Dvinskaya, M.L., Wildfires dynamic in the larch dominance zone, Geophys. Rev. Lett., 2008, vol. 35, nos. 1–6, L01402. doi 10.1029/2007GL032291Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sofronov, M.A., Volokitina, A.V., and Kajimoto, T., Ecology of wildland fires and permafrost: Their interdependence in the northern part of Siberia, in Proc. 8th Symp. on the Joint Siberian Permafrost Studies, 1999, pp. 211–218.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ponomarev, E.I. and Kharuk, V.I., Wildfire occurrence in forests of the Altai–Sayan region under current climate changes, Contemp. Probl. Ecol., 2016, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 29–36. doi 10.1134/S199542551601011xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ponomarev, E.I., Kharuk, V.I., and Ranson, J.K., Wildfires dynamics in Siberian larch forests, Forests, 2016, vol. 6, no. 7, pp. 1–9. doi 10.3390/f7060125Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Summaries, Frequently Asked Questions, and Cross-Chapter Boxes. Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Field, C.B., Barros, V.R., Dokken, D.J., Eds., Geneva: World Meteorological Organization, 2014.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Shvidenko, A.Z., Shchepashchenko, D.G., Vaganov, E.A., et al., Impact of wildfires in Russia (1998–2010) on ecosystems and global carbon budget, Dokl. Ross. Akad. Nauk, 2011, vol. 441, no. 4, pp. 544–548.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Zamolodchikov, D.G., Grabovskii, V.I., and Kraev, G.N., Dynamics of the carbon budget of Russian forests over the past two decades, Lesovedenie, 2011, no. 6, pp. 16–28.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Vaganov, E.A. and Arbatskaya, M.K., History of climate and fire frequency in the central part of Krasnoyarsk krai: 1. Climatic conditions of growing season and distribution of fires within season, Sib. Ekol. Zh., 1996, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 9–18.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kharuk, V.I., Ranson, K.J., Dvinskaya, M.L., and Im, S.T., Wildfires in northern Siberian larch dominated communities, Environ. Res. Lett., 2011, no. 6, 045208. doi 10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/045208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kharuk, V.I., Ranson, K.J., and Dvinskaya, M.L., Fire return intervals within the northern boundary of the larch forest in Central Siberia, int. J. Wildland Fire, 2013, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 207–211. doi 10.1071/WF11181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kharuk, V.I., Dvinskaya, M.L., Petrov, I.A., et al., Larch forests of Middle Siberia: Long-term trends in fire return intervals, Environ. Res. Lett., 2016, vol. 16, no. 8, pp. 2389–2397. doi 10.1007/s10113-016-0964-9Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wallenius, T., Larjavaara, M., Heikkinen, J., and Shibistova, O., Declining fires in Larix-dominated forests in northern Irkutsk district, int. J. Wildland Fire, 2011, no. 20, pp. 248–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Korovin, G.N. and Andreev, N.A., Aviatsionnaya okhrana lesov (Aerial Forest Protection), Moscow: Agropromizdat, 1988.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bartalev, S.A., Egorov, V.A., Ershov, D.V., et al., Satellite mapping of Russia’s plant cover based on MODIS spectroradiometer measurements, Sovr. Problemy Dist. Zond. Zemli iz Kosmosa, 2011, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 285–302.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ponomarev, E.I. and Shvetsov, E.G., Characteristics of Siberia’s wildfire categories based on satellite and other observations, Issled. Zemli Kosmosa, 2013, no. 5, pp. 45–54. doi 10.7868/S0205961413050035Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Fedorov, V.M., Latitudinal correlations in the distribution of incident solar radiation and general atmospheric circulation: Solar radiation and global climate, Slozhnye Sistemy, 2015, no. 1 (14), pp. 39–55.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kovacs, K., Ranson, K.J., Sun, G., and Kharuk, V.I., The relationship of the Terra MODIS fire product and anthropogenic features in the Central Siberian landscape, Earth Interact., 2004, no. 8, pp. 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ivanov, V.A. and Ivanova, G.A., Pozhary ot groz v lesakh Sibiri (Fires from Thunderstorms in Siberian Forests), Novosibirsk: Nauka, 2010.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    de Groot, W.J., Cantin, A.S., Flannigan, M.D., et al., A comparison of Canadian and Russian boreal forest fire regimes, For. Ecol. Manage., 2013, vol. 294, pp. 23–34. doi 10.1016/j.foreco.2012.07.033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Flannigan, M., Cantin, A.S., and de Groot, W.J., Global wildland fire season severity in the 21st century, For. Ecol. Manage., 2013, vol. 294, pp. 54–61. doi 10.1016/j.foreco.2012.10.022CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations