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Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 390; doi:10.3390/su9030390

Modeling Post-Fire Mortality in Pure and Mixed Forest Stands in Portugal—A Forest Planning-Oriented Model

1
Forest Research Center, School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
2
Unidad de Gestión Forestal Sostenible (UXFS), Departamento de Ingeniería Agroforestal, Escuela Politécnica Superior Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Campus Universitario, 27002 Lugo, Spain
3
Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CEMFOR-CTFC), Ctra de St. Llorenç de Morunys Km 2, E25280 Solsona, Spain
4
Research Centre in Mathematics and Applications, Colégio Luís Verney, University of Évora, Rua Romão Ramanho, 59, 7000-671 Évora, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Support for Forest Ecosystem Management Sustainability)
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Abstract

Assessing impacts of management strategies may allow designing more resistant forests to wildfires. Planning-oriented models to predict the effect of stand structure and forest composition on mortality for supporting fire-smart management decisions, and allowing its inclusion in forest management optimization systems were developed. Post-fire mortality was modeled as a function of measurable forest inventory data and projections over time in 165 pure and 76 mixed forest stands in Portugal, collected by the 5th National Forest Inventory plots (NFI) plus other sample plots from ForFireS project, intercepted within 2006–2008 wildfire perimeters’ data. Presence and tree survival were obtained by examining 2450 trees from 16 species one year after the wildfire occurrence. A set of logistic regression models were developed under a three-stage modeling system: firstly multiple fixed-effects at stand-level that comprises a sub-model to predict mortality from wildfire; and another for the proportion of dead trees on stands killed by fire. At tree-level due to the nested structure of the data analyzed (trees within stands), a mixed-effect model was developed to estimate mortality among trees in a fire event. The results imply that the variation of tree mortality decreases when tree diameter at breast height increases. Moreover, the relative mortality increases with stand density, higher altitude and steeper slopes. In the same conditions, conifers are more prone to die than eucalyptus and broadleaves. Pure stands of broadleaves exhibit noticeably higher fire resistance than mixed stands of broadleaves and others species composition. View Full-Text
Keywords: pre and post-fire management decision-making; post-fire mortality; stand structure; forest heterogeneity; fire-adapted silviculture pre and post-fire management decision-making; post-fire mortality; stand structure; forest heterogeneity; fire-adapted silviculture
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Botequim, B.; Arias-Rodil, M.; Garcia-Gonzalo, J.; Silva, A.; Marques, S.; Borges, J.G.; Oliveira, M.M.; Tomé, M. Modeling Post-Fire Mortality in Pure and Mixed Forest Stands in Portugal—A Forest Planning-Oriented Model. Sustainability 2017, 9, 390.

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