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Modelling Cork Oak Woodlands for Wildfire Simulations with WFDS: The Role of Vegetation Spatial Patterns †

Laboratoire Sciences Pour l’Environnement (UMR 6134 SPE), University of Corsica, 20250 Corte, France
Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory, U.S. Forest Service, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement (INRAE), Aix-Marseille University, RECOVER, 13182 Aix-en-Provence, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk, Sardinia, Italy, 3–6 May 2022.
Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17(1), 122;
Published: 2 September 2022
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk)
Research applications of three-dimensional, time-dependent, computational fluid dynamics fire behavior models, such as the Wildland Urban Interface Fire Dynamics Simulator (WFDS) [1,2], FIRETEC [3], or FIRESTAR3D [4], are progressively increasing. This is due to advances in computing capabilities and the potential of these physics-based models to capture the processes involved in fire behavior across a range of scales and conditions. In this regard, they allow consideration of spatially explicit distribution patterns of vegetation, which have a significant influence on wind flow profiles and fire behavior.
Several numerical studies [5,6,7,8,9] have examined the influence of vegetation spatial patterns on wind profiles and/or fire behavior. These studies demonstrate the importance of taking into account the observed heterogeneities in vegetation patterns as well as considering uncertainty when modelling vegetation stands by using statistical models. However, these studies have been focused on forest stands composed by overstorey trees and litter/grass as surface fuels. These forest stands differ from typical fire prone Mediterranean woodlands, which have significant shrub cover.
This study addresses the numerical modelling of cork oak woodlands at a stand scale in wildfire simulations using WFDS. In particular, it investigates how spatial patterns of raised vegetation (i.e., understory shrubs and overstorey trees) in a high-density cork oak stand impact wind/fire dynamics. To this purpose, point process models from spatial statistics have been applied for generating different spatial distribution patterns. For each one of these patterns, different numerical forest scenarios (replicates) have been implemented by using an ensemble-based approach. Simulations were carried out with WFDS at a stand scale with a fine grid resolution. A detailed discussion of the results obtained as well as guidelines for the implementation of numerical forests at stand scale will be provided.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, Y.P.-R., A.G. (Anthony Graziani), P.-A.S. and W.M.; methodology, Y.P.-R., J.Z. and C.H.; software, Y.P.-R., A.G. (Anthony Graziani), P.-A.S. and W.M.; validation, Y.P.-R., A.G. (Anthony Graziani), and P.-A.S.; formal analysis, Y.P.-R., A.G. (Anthony Graziani) and P.-A.S.; investigation, Y.P.-R., A.G. (Anthony Graziani) and P.-A.S.; resources, J.Z., C.H., V.T.-F. and A.G. (Anne Ganteaume); data curation, Y.P.-R.; writing—original draft preparation, Y.P.-R.; writing—review and editing, Y.P.-R., A.G. (Anthony Graziani), P.-A.S., J.Z., C.H., W.M., V.T.-F. and A.G. (Anne Ganteaume); visualization, Y.P.-R.; supervision, P.-A.S.; project administration, P.-A.S. and W.M.; funding acquisition, P.-A.S. and W.M. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


The stand scale simulations of this research have been supported by the project “Structure Heat Exposure—Simulations and Experiments”, contract number 21-IJ-11261987-002, funded by the USDA (US Forest Service).

Data Availability Statement

Not applicable.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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MDPI and ACS Style

Pérez-Ramirez, Y.; Graziani, A.; Santoni, P.-A.; Ziegler, J.; Hoffman, C.; Mell, W.; Tihay-Felicelli, V.; Ganteaume, A. Modelling Cork Oak Woodlands for Wildfire Simulations with WFDS: The Role of Vegetation Spatial Patterns. Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17, 122.

AMA Style

Pérez-Ramirez Y, Graziani A, Santoni P-A, Ziegler J, Hoffman C, Mell W, Tihay-Felicelli V, Ganteaume A. Modelling Cork Oak Woodlands for Wildfire Simulations with WFDS: The Role of Vegetation Spatial Patterns. Environmental Sciences Proceedings. 2022; 17(1):122.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pérez-Ramirez, Yolanda, Anthony Graziani, Paul-Antoine Santoni, Justin Ziegler, Chad Hoffman, William Mell, Virginie Tihay-Felicelli, and Anne Ganteaume. 2022. "Modelling Cork Oak Woodlands for Wildfire Simulations with WFDS: The Role of Vegetation Spatial Patterns" Environmental Sciences Proceedings 17, no. 1: 122.

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