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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 85; doi:10.3390/rs9010085

Remote Sensing-Based Assessment of the 2005–2011 Bamboo Reproductive Event in the Arakan Mountain Range and Its Relation with Wildfires

1
International Livestock Research Institute, P.O. Box 30709, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
2
Remote Sensing of Environmental Dynamics Lab., Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 1, Milano 20126, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Krishna Prasad Vadrevu, Rama Nemani, Chris Justice, Garik Gutman, Ioannis Gitas, Clement Atzberger, Lars T. Waser and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 26 July 2016 / Revised: 28 November 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3440 KB, uploaded 18 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

Pulse ecological events have major impacts on regional and global biogeochemical cycles, potentially inducing a vast set of cascading ecological effects. This study analyzes the widespread reproductive event of bamboo (Melocanna baccifera) that occurred in the Arakan Mountains (Southeast Asia) from 2005 to 2011, and investigates the possible relationship between massive fuel loading due to bamboo synchronous mortality over large areas and wildfire regime. Multiple remote sensing data products are used to map the areal extent of the bamboo-dominated forest. MODIS NDVI time series are then analyzed to detect the spatiotemporal patterns of the reproductive event. Finally, MODIS Active Fire and Burned Area Products are used to investigate the distribution and extension of wildfires before and after the reproductive event. Bamboo dominates about 62,000 km2 of forest in Arakan. Over 65% of the region shows evidence of synchronous bamboo flowering, fruiting, and mortality over large areas, with wave-like spatiotemporal dynamics. A significant change in the regime of wildfires is observed, with total burned area doubling in the bamboo-dominated forest area and reaching almost 16,000 km2. Wildfires also severely affect the remnant patches of the evergreen forest adjacent to the bamboo forest. These results demonstrate a clear interconnection between the 2005–2011 bamboo reproductive event and the wildfires spreading in the region, with potential relevant socio-economic and environmental impacts. View Full-Text
Keywords: bamboo; reproduction; wildfires; MODIS; Arakan; pulse event; food security; biodiversity conservation bamboo; reproduction; wildfires; MODIS; Arakan; pulse event; food security; biodiversity conservation
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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

Fava, F.; Colombo, R. Remote Sensing-Based Assessment of the 2005–2011 Bamboo Reproductive Event in the Arakan Mountain Range and Its Relation with Wildfires. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 85.

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