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Tools for Assessing the Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on Wildfire Regimes in Forests

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Jalan CIFOR, Situ Gede, Bogor Barat 16115, Indonesia
Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CEMFOR-CTFC), Ctra St. Llorenç de Morunys Km 2 ES-25280 Solsona, Spain
Faculty of Forestry, Bogor Agricultural University, Jalan Raya Darmaga, Bogor 16680, Indonesia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jianbang Gan
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1476-1499;
Received: 24 February 2015 / Revised: 20 April 2015 / Accepted: 23 April 2015 / Published: 30 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Forest Fire)
PDF [537 KB, uploaded 30 April 2015]


Fire is an intrinsic element of many forest ecosystems; it shapes their ecological processes, determines species composition and influences landscape structure. However, wildfires may: have undesirable effects on biodiversity and vegetation coverage; produce carbon emissions to the atmosphere; release smoke affecting human health; and cause loss of lives and property. There have been increasing concerns about the potential impacts of climate variability and change on forest fires. Climate change can alter factors that influence the occurrence of fire ignitions, fuel availability and fuel flammability. This review paper aims to identify tools and methods used for gathering information about the impacts of climate variability and change on forest fires, forest fuels and the probability of fires. Tools to assess the impacts of climate variability and change on forest fires include: remote sensing, dynamic global vegetation and landscape models, integrated fire-vegetation models, fire danger rating systems, empirical models and fire behavior models. This review outlines each tool in terms of its characteristics, spatial and temporal resolution, limitations and applicability of the results. To enhance and improve tool performance, each must be continuously tested in all types of forest ecosystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; climate variability; forest fire; tool climate change; climate variability; forest fire; tool

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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

Herawati, H.; González-Olabarria, J.R.; Wijaya, A.; Martius, C.; Purnomo, H.; Andriani, R. Tools for Assessing the Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on Wildfire Regimes in Forests. Forests 2015, 6, 1476-1499.

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