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Climate 2017, 5(2), 42; doi:10.3390/cli5020042

Spatial Pattern of the Seasonal Drought/Burned Area Relationship across Brazilian Biomes: Sensitivity to Drought Metrics and Global Remote-Sensing Fire Products

1
UMR CEFE 5175, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université de Montpellier, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier CEDEX 5, France
2
Department of Biology/Plant Physiology, UFLA-Universidade Federal de Lavras, Campus Universitário, Caixa Postal 3037, Lavras CEP 37200-000, MG, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Valdir Adilson Steinke and Charlei Aparecido da Silva
Received: 15 May 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Studies and Perspectives of Climatology in Brazil)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2786 KB, uploaded 16 June 2017]   |  

Abstract

Fires are complex processes having important impacts on biosphere/atmosphere interactions. The spatial and temporal pattern of fire activity is determined by complex feedbacks between climate and plant functioning through and biomass desiccation, usually estimated by fire danger indices (FDI) in official fire risk prevention services. Contrasted vegetation types from fire-prone Brazilian biomes may respond differently to soil water deficit during the fire season. Then, we propose to evaluate the burned area (BA)/FDI relationship across Brazil using most common FDIs and the main BA products from global remote sensing. We computed 12 standard FDIs- at 0.5° resolution from 2002 to 2011 and used the monthly BA from four BA datasets—from the MODIS sensor (MCD45A1), the MERIS sensor (MERIS FIRE_CCI), the Global Fire Emission Database version 4 (GFED4) and version 4s including small fires (GFED4s). We performed a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) on the coefficients of determination (R2) of the FDI/BA relationship to investigate the biome specificities of Brazilian biomes and the sensitivity to BA datasets. Good relationships (R2 > 0.8) were observed for all BA datasets, except SPEI (R2 < 0.2). We showed that FDIs computed from empirical water balances considering a lower soil capacity are more correlated to the seasonal pattern of fire occurrence in the Cerrado biome with contrasted adjustments between the western (early drying) and eastern part (late drying), while the fine fuel moisture index is more correlated to the fire seasonal pattern in Amazonia. The biome specificities of the FDI/BA relationship was evaluated with a general linear model. High accuracies in the biome distribution according to the FDI/BA relationship (>50%, p < 0.001) was observed in Amazonia and Cerrado, with lower accuracy (<32%, p < 0.001) in the Atlantic Forest and Caatinga. These results suggest that the FDI/BA relationship are biome-specific to explain the seasonal course of burned in Brazilian biomes, independently of the global BA product used. Selected FDIs should be used for fire danger forecast in each Brazilian biome. View Full-Text
Keywords: fire season; global remote sensing; MCD45A1; GFED; MERIS FIRE_CCI; drought index; fire weather; Brazil fire season; global remote sensing; MCD45A1; GFED; MERIS FIRE_CCI; drought index; fire weather; Brazil
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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

Nogueira, J.M.P.; Rambal, S.; Barbosa, J.P.R.A.D.; Mouillot, F. Spatial Pattern of the Seasonal Drought/Burned Area Relationship across Brazilian Biomes: Sensitivity to Drought Metrics and Global Remote-Sensing Fire Products. Climate 2017, 5, 42.

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