Next Article in Journal
Modifying Geometric-Optical Bidirectional Reflectance Model for Direct Inversion of Forest Canopy Leaf Area Index
Previous Article in Journal
Prediction of Canopy Heights over a Large Region Using Heterogeneous Lidar Datasets: Efficacy and Challenges
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Remote Sens. 2015, 7(9), 11061-11082; doi:10.3390/rs70911061

The Implications of Fire Management in the Andean Paramo: A Preliminary Assessment Using Satellite Remote Sensing

1
European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Via E. Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra, Italy
2
Department of Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, Freie Universität Berlin, Malteserstraβe 74-100, Haus H, 12249 Berlin, Germany
3
Grupo ECOLMOD-Ecología del Paisaje y Modelación de Ecosistemas, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia
4
Department of Human Sciences, Social and Health, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, 03043 Cassino, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Heiko Balzter, Ioannis Gitas and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 6 May 2015 / Revised: 30 July 2015 / Accepted: 7 August 2015 / Published: 27 August 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2090 KB, uploaded 27 August 2015]   |  

Abstract

The upper ranges of the northern Andes are characterized by unique Neotropical, high altitude ecosystems known as paramos. These tundra-like grasslands are widely recognized by the scientific community for their biodiversity and their important ecosystem services for the local human population. Despite their remoteness, limited accessibility for humans and waterlogged soils, paramos are highly flammable ecosystems. They are constantly under the influence of seasonal biomass burning mostly caused by humans. Nevertheless, little is known about the spatial extent of these fires, their regime and the resulting ecological impacts. This paper presents a thorough mapping and analysis of the fires in one of the world’s largest paramo, namely the “Complejo de Páramos” of Cruz Verde-Sumapaz in the Eastern mountain range of the Andes (Colombia). Landsat TM/ETM+ and MODIS imagery from 2001 to 2013 was used to map and analyze the spatial distribution of fires and their intra- and inter-annual variability. Moreover, a logistic regression model analysis was undertaken to test the hypothesis that the dynamics of the paramo fires can be related to human pressures. The resulting map shows that the burned paramo areas account for 57,179.8 hectares, of which 50% (28,604.3 hectares) are located within the Sumapaz National Park. The findings show that the fire season mainly occurs from January to March. The accuracy assessment carried out using a confusion matrix based on 20 reference burned areas shows values of 90.1% (producer accuracy) for the mapped burned areas with a Kappa Index of Agreement (KIA) of 0.746. The results of the logistic regression model suggest a significant predictive relevance of the variables road distance (0.55 ROC (receiver operating characteristic)) and slope gradient (0.53 ROC), indicating that the higher the probability of fire occurrence, the smaller the distance to the road and the higher the probability of more gentle slopes. The paper sheds light on fires in the Colombian paramos and provides a solid basis for further investigation of the impacts on the natural ecosystem functions and biodiversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegetation monitoring; Landsat; MODIS; FIRMS; image differencing; dNDVI; dNBR; land degradation; logistic regression analysis vegetation monitoring; Landsat; MODIS; FIRMS; image differencing; dNDVI; dNBR; land degradation; logistic regression analysis
Figures

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).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Borrelli, P.; Armenteras, D.; Panagos, P.; Modugno, S.; Schütt, B. The Implications of Fire Management in the Andean Paramo: A Preliminary Assessment Using Satellite Remote Sensing. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 11061-11082.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Remote Sens. EISSN 2072-4292 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top