Concern regarding global change has increased the need to understand the relationship between fire regime characteristics and the environment. Pyrogeographical theory suggests that fire regimes are constrained by climate, vegetation and fire ignition processes, but it is not obvious how fire regime characteristics are related to those factors. We used a three-matrix approach with a multivariate statistical methodology that combined an ordination method and fourth-corner analysis for hypothesis testing to investigate the relationship between fire regime characteristics and environmental gradients across Spain. Our results suggest that fire regime characteristics (i.e., density and seasonality of fire activity) are constrained primarily by direct gradients based on climate, population, and resource gradients based on forest potential productivity. Our results can be used to establish a predictive model for how fire regimes emerge in order to support fire management, particularly as global environmental changes impact fire regime characteristics.
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