Next Article in Journal
A Conceptually Simple Modeling Approach for Jason-1 Sea State Bias Correction Based on 3 Parameters Exclusively Derived from Altimetric Information
Next Article in Special Issue
Landscape Effects of Wildfire on Permafrost Distribution in Interior Alaska Derived from Remote Sensing
Previous Article in Journal
Glacier Remote Sensing Using Sentinel-2. Part II: Mapping Glacier Extents and Surface Facies, and Comparison to Landsat 8
Previous Article in Special Issue
Exploring the Relationship between Burn Severity Field Data and Very High Resolution GeoEye Images: The Case of the 2011 Evros Wildfire in Greece
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(7), 572; doi:10.3390/rs8070572

Spectral Indices Accurately Quantify Changes in Seedling Physiology Following Fire: Towards Mechanistic Assessments of Post-Fire Carbon Cycling

1
College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844, USA
2
Idaho Fire Initiative for Research and Education (IFIRE), University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844, USA
3
Oak Ridge Institute for Science Education, National Center for Environmental Assessment, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 277094, USA
4
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona, Payson, AZ 85541, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 April 2016 / Accepted: 30 June 2016 / Published: 7 July 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6215 KB, uploaded 7 July 2016]   |  

Abstract

Fire activity, in terms of intensity, frequency, and total area burned, is expected to increase with a changing climate. A challenge for landscape-level assessment of fire effects, often termed burn severity, is that current remote sensing assessments provide very little information regarding tree/vegetation physiological performance and recovery, limiting our understanding of fire effects on ecosystem services such as carbon storage/cycling. In this paper, we evaluated whether spectral indices common in vegetation stress and burn severity assessments could accurately quantify post-fire physiological performance (indicated by net photosynthesis and crown scorch) of two seedling species, Larix occidentalis and Pinus contorta. Seedlings were subjected to increasing fire radiative energy density (FRED) doses through a series of controlled laboratory surface fires. Mortality, physiology, and spectral reflectance were assessed for a month following the fires, and then again at one year post-fire. The differenced Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (dNDVI) spectral index outperformed other spectral indices used for vegetation stress and burn severity characterization in regard to leaf net photosynthesis quantification, indicating that landscape-level quantification of tree physiology may be possible. Additionally, the survival of the majority of seedlings in the low and moderate FRED doses indicates that fire-induced mortality is more complex than the currently accepted binary scenario, where trees survive with no impacts below a certain temperature and duration threshold, and mortality occurs above the threshold. View Full-Text
Keywords: fire; remote sensing; severity; carbon; recovery; mortality fire; remote sensing; severity; carbon; recovery; mortality
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).

Supplementary material

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

Sparks, A.M.; Kolden, C.A.; Talhelm, A.F.; Smith, A.M.; Apostol, K.G.; Johnson, D.M.; Boschetti, L. Spectral Indices Accurately Quantify Changes in Seedling Physiology Following Fire: Towards Mechanistic Assessments of Post-Fire Carbon Cycling. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 572.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

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