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Environments 2017, 4(4), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments4040090

Assessment of Post-Fire Vegetation Recovery Using Fire Severity and Geographical Data in the Mediterranean Region (Spain)

1
Complutum Tecnologías de la Información Geográfica (COMPLUTIG) S.L, University of Alcala, Calle Colegios, 2, 28801 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
2
Department of Geology, Geography and Environment, University of Alcala, 28801 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 10 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Territorial Management)
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Abstract

Wildfires cause disturbances in ecosystems and generate environmental, economic, and social costs. Studies focused on vegetation regeneration in burned areas acquire interest because of the need to understand the species dynamics and to apply an adequate restoration policy. In this work we intend to study the variables that condition short-term regeneration (5 years) of three species of the genus Pinus in the Mediterranean region of the Iberian Peninsula. Regeneration modelling has been performed through multiple regressions, using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Geographic Weight Regression (GWR). The variables used were fire severity, measured through the Composite Burn Index (CBI), and a set of environmental variables (topography, post-fire climate, vegetation type, and state after fire). The regeneration dynamics were measured through the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) obtained from Landsat images. The relationship between fire severity and regeneration dynamics showed consistent results. Short-term regeneration was slowed down when severity was higher. The models generated by GWR showed better results in comparison with OLS (adjusted R2 = 0.77 for Pinus nigra and Pinus pinaster; adjusted R2 = 0.80 for Pinus halepensis). Further studies should focus on obtaining more precise variables and considering new factors which help to better explain post-fire vegetation recovery. View Full-Text
Keywords: post-fire regeneration; remote sensing; GIS; burn severity; environmental variables post-fire regeneration; remote sensing; GIS; burn severity; environmental variables
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Viana-Soto, A.; Aguado, I.; Martínez, S. Assessment of Post-Fire Vegetation Recovery Using Fire Severity and Geographical Data in the Mediterranean Region (Spain). Environments 2017, 4, 90.

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