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Open AccessArticle

Methods to Detect Edge Effected Reductions in Fire Frequency in Simulated Forest Landscapes

School of Forest Resources, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
Department of Geography, University at Buffalo, SUNY, Buffalo, NY 14261, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(6), 277;
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geographic Information Science in Forestry)
PDF [4056 KB, uploaded 14 June 2019]


Reductions in fire frequency (RFF) are known to occur in the area adjacent to the rigid-boundary of simulated forest landscapes. Few studies, however, have removed those edge effected regions (EERs), and many others may, thus, have misinterpreted their simulated forest conditions within those unidentified edges. We developed three methods to detect and remove EERs with RFF and applied them to fire frequency maps of 2900 × 2900 grids developed using between 1000 and 1200 fire-year maps. The three methods employed different approaches: scanning, agglomeration, and division, along with the consensus of two and three of those methods. The detected EERs with RFF ranged in mean width from 5.9 to 17.3 km, and occupied 4.9 to 21.3% of the simulated landscapes. Those values are lower than the 40 km buffer width, which occupied 47.5% of the simulated landscape, used in a previous study in this area that based buffer width on length of the largest fire. The maximum width of the EER covaried with wind predominance, indicating it is not possible to prescribe a standard buffer width for all simulation studies. The three edge detection methods differ in their optimality, with the best results provided by a consensus of the three methods. We suggest that future landscape forest simulation studies should, to ensure their results near the rigid boundary are not misrepresentative, simulate an appropriately enlarged study area and then employ edge detection methods to remove the EERs with RFF. View Full-Text
Keywords: buffer; edge effect; fire frequency; landscape model buffer; edge effect; fire frequency; landscape model

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Wei, X.; Larsen, C.P.S. Methods to Detect Edge Effected Reductions in Fire Frequency in Simulated Forest Landscapes. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8, 277.

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