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Open AccessReview

Remote Sensing Techniques in Monitoring Post-Fire Effects and Patterns of Forest Recovery in Boreal Forest Regions: A Review

by Thuan Chu * and Xulin Guo
Department of Geography and Planning, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N5C8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(1), 470-520; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs6010470
Received: 15 November 2013 / Revised: 19 December 2013 / Accepted: 20 December 2013 / Published: 31 December 2013
The frequency and severity of forest fires, coupled with changes in spatial and temporal precipitation and temperature patterns, are likely to severely affect the characteristics of forest and permafrost patterns in boreal eco-regions. Forest fires, however, are also an ecological factor in how forest ecosystems form and function, as they affect the rate and characteristics of tree recruitment. A better understanding of fire regimes and forest recovery patterns in different environmental and climatic conditions will improve the management of sustainable forests by facilitating the process of forest resilience. Remote sensing has been identified as an effective tool for preventing and monitoring forest fires, as well as being a potential tool for understanding how forest ecosystems respond to them. However, a number of challenges remain before remote sensing practitioners will be able to better understand the effects of forest fires and how vegetation responds afterward. This article attempts to provide a comprehensive review of current research with respect to remotely sensed data and methods used to model post-fire effects and forest recovery patterns in boreal forest regions. The review reveals that remote sensing-based monitoring of post-fire effects and forest recovery patterns in boreal forest regions is not only limited by the gaps in both field data and remotely sensed data, but also the complexity of far-northern fire regimes, climatic conditions and environmental conditions. We expect that the integration of different remotely sensed data coupled with field campaigns can provide an important data source to support the monitoring of post-fire effects and forest recovery patterns. Additionally, the variation and stratification of pre- and post-fire vegetation and environmental conditions should be considered to achieve a reasonable, operational model for monitoring post-fire effects and forest patterns in boreal regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; post-fire; burned area; burn severity; boreal forest; forest pattern; forest recovery; forest succession; forest structural variables remote sensing; post-fire; burned area; burn severity; boreal forest; forest pattern; forest recovery; forest succession; forest structural variables
MDPI and ACS Style

Chu, T.; Guo, X. Remote Sensing Techniques in Monitoring Post-Fire Effects and Patterns of Forest Recovery in Boreal Forest Regions: A Review. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 470-520.

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