Special Issue "Multi-Source and Multi-System Fire Monitoring Relying on EO Data in Mediterranean Ecosystems"

A special issue of Fire (ISSN 2571-6255).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (24 May 2022) | Viewed by 11566

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Daniela Stroppiana
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment, Italian National Research Council, (IREA-CNR), 7-00185 Roma, Italy
Interests: monitoring natural ecosystems with Earth observation data; mapping fires and burned areas; fire severity; integration of optical and SAR data for fire monitoring; time series analysis; processing and classification of multi-spectral UAV data; methods and protocols for validation thematic products
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Mirco Boschetti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment, Italian National Research Council, (IREA-CNR), 7 - 00185 Roma, Italy
Interests: land use and crop mapping; retrieval of biophysical parameters; agro-practices and phenological monitoring from time series analysis; environmental indicator through geographic multisource data integration; precision farming; anomaly detection
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fire is the most important natural threat to forested and wooded regions of the Mediterranean basin. In the last few years, severe fire events hit countries in Southern Europe, for example, in 2017 when large fires in Portugal and Greece caused economic and environmental damage, including loss of lives, infrastructures, and ecosystem services.

Climate change, one of the major drivers of warmer and drier conditions in Southern Europe, combined with other environmental and socioeconomic factors could affect fire regimes by exacerbating fire occurrence and severity (longer fire seasons, more frequent fire events); extreme fire seasons are likely to be more and more common in southern Europe. Observed and predicted trends of future climate scenarios depict an increased risk of large fires hence major efforts should be focused on new strategies for reducing their impacts.

This Special Issue will collect contributions for a better understanding of fire dynamics, fire regimes, and fire impacts in Mediterranean Ecosystems. Focus is placed on applications of Earth Observation data and systems for the production of geospatial thematic products for all phases of fire monitoring and management: 1) Pre-fire: fuel type and conditions, wildfire risk assessment, and vulnerability; 2) Fire impact assessment: fire severity, fire and burned area monitoring and mapping; 3) Post-fire: regeneration, restoration, and regrowth. Manuscripts presenting the use of EO-based geo-products in multi-source operative systems and workflows are welcome to highlight the added value of remote sensing for fire management and monitoring in Mediterranean ecosystems. Manuscripts addressing the exploitation of new data from nanosatellite constellations and fusion of operational SAR and optical data (e.g., Copernicus Sentinel missions) will also be considered of great interest for the Special Issue. Fire product validation, as well as and the assessment and the evaluation of EO product timeliness, reliability, spatial, and temporal suitability, and accuracy are all topics that are relevant for the Special Issue.

Dr. Daniela Stroppiana
Dr. Mirco Boschetti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fire is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Application of Earth observation (EO) data and systems
  • Multi-source fire monitoring and management systems
  • Product and system validation and accuracy assessment
  • Geo-spatial datasets
  • Fire risk assessment
  • Fuel forest identification and biophysical parameters characterization
  • Burned area and burned severity mapping
  • Vegetation regrowth and restoration process analysis

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Detecting Fire-Caused Forest Loss in a Moroccan Protected Area
Fire 2022, 5(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire5020051 - 09 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1814
Abstract
Fire is a concern for the sustainability of dry forests such as those of the Mediterranean region, especially under warming climate and high human use. We used data derived from Landsat and MODIS sensors to assess forest changes in the Talassemtane National Park [...] Read more.
Fire is a concern for the sustainability of dry forests such as those of the Mediterranean region, especially under warming climate and high human use. We used data derived from Landsat and MODIS sensors to assess forest changes in the Talassemtane National Park (TNP) in North Africa from 2003–2018. The Talassemtane National Park is a protected area in northern Morocco, a biodiverse, mountainous region with endemic species of concern such as the Moroccan fir (Abies marocana) and Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus). To help the managers of the TNP better understand how the forest has been impacted by fire vs. other disturbances, we combined information from remotely derived datasets. The Hansen Global Forest Change (GFC) data are a global resource providing annual forest change, but without specifying the causes of change. We compared the GFC data to MODIS wildfire data from Andela’s Global Fire Atlas (GFA), a new global tool to identify fire locations and progression. We also analyzed surface reflectance-corrected Landsat imagery to calculate fire severity and vegetation death using Relative Differenced Normalized Burn Ratio analysis (RdNBR). In the park, GFC data showed a net loss of 1695 ha over 16 years, corresponding to an approximately 0.3% annual loss of forest. The GFA identified nine large fires that covered 4440 ha in the study period, coinciding with 833 ha of forest loss in the same period. Within these fires, detailed image analysis showed that GFA fire boundaries were approximately correct, providing the first quantitative test of GFA accuracy outside North America. High-severity fire, as determined by RdNBR analysis, made up about 32% of burned area. Overall, the GFA was validated as a useful management tool with only one non-detected wildfire in the study period; wildfires were linked to approximately 49% of the forest loss. This information helps managers develop conservation strategies based on reliable data about forest threats. Full article
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Article
Defining Wildfire Susceptibility Maps in Italy for Understanding Seasonal Wildfire Regimes at the National Level
Fire 2022, 5(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire5010030 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2833
Abstract
Wildfires constitute an extremely serious social and environmental issue in the Mediterranean region, with impacts on human lives, infrastructures and ecosystems. It is therefore important to produce susceptibility maps for wildfire management. The wildfire susceptibility is defined as a static probability of experiencing [...] Read more.
Wildfires constitute an extremely serious social and environmental issue in the Mediterranean region, with impacts on human lives, infrastructures and ecosystems. It is therefore important to produce susceptibility maps for wildfire management. The wildfire susceptibility is defined as a static probability of experiencing wildfire in a certain area, depending on the intrinsic characteristics of the territory. In this work, a machine learning model based on the Random Forest Classifier algorithm is employed to obtain national scale susceptibility maps for Italy at a 500 m spatial resolution. In particular, two maps are produced, one for each specific wildfire season, the winter and the summer one. Developing such analysis at the national scale allows for having a deep understanding on the wildfire regimes furnishing a tool for wildfire risk management. The selected machine learning model is capable of associating a data-set of geographic, climatic, and anthropic information to the synoptic past burned area. The model is then used to classify each pixel of the study area, producing the susceptibility map. Several stages of validation are proposed, with the analysis of ground retrieved wildfire databases and with recent wildfire events obtained through remote sensing techniques. Full article
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Article
Long Term Post-Fire Vegetation Dynamics in North-East Mediterranean Ecosystems. The Case of Mount Athos Greece
Fire 2021, 4(4), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire4040092 - 08 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1750
Abstract
Fire is an ecological and disturbance factor with a significant historical role in shaping the landscape of fire-prone environments. Despite the large amount of literature regarding post-fire vegetation dynamics, the north-east Mediterranean region is rather underrepresented in the literature. Studies that refer to [...] Read more.
Fire is an ecological and disturbance factor with a significant historical role in shaping the landscape of fire-prone environments. Despite the large amount of literature regarding post-fire vegetation dynamics, the north-east Mediterranean region is rather underrepresented in the literature. Studies that refer to the early post fire years and long term research are rather scarce. The current study is conducted in the socially and geographically isolated peninsula of Mount Athos (Holly Mountain) in northern Greece, and it studies vegetation dynamics over a period of 30 years since the last fire. Field data were collected 11 years since the event and were used to identify the present plant communities in the area, using TWINSPAN, and the factors affecting their distribution using CART. Four Landsat (TM, ETM, OLI) images are employed for the calculation of NDVI, which was found effective in detecting the intercommunity variation in the study area, and it is used for long term monitoring. The study includes four communities, from maquis to forest which are common in the Mediterranean region covering a wide altitudinal range. The results suggest that fire affects the various communities in a different way and their recovery differs significantly. While forest communities recover quickly after fire, maintaining their composition and structure, the maquis communities may need several years before reaching the pre-fire characteristics. The dry climatic conditions of the study area are probably the reason for the slow recovery of the most fire prone communities. Given that climate change is expected to make the conditions even drier in the region, studies like this emphasize the need to adopt measures for controlling wildfires and preventing ecosystem degradation. Full article
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Article
Vegetation Recovery Patterns in Burned Areas Assessed with Landsat 8 OLI Imagery and Environmental Biophysical Data
Fire 2021, 4(4), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire4040076 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2020
Abstract
Vegetation recovery after the large wildfires that occurred in central Portugal in 2017 is assessed in the present study. These wildfires had catastrophic consequences, among which were human losses and a vast extent of forest devastation. Landsat 8 OLI images were used to [...] Read more.
Vegetation recovery after the large wildfires that occurred in central Portugal in 2017 is assessed in the present study. These wildfires had catastrophic consequences, among which were human losses and a vast extent of forest devastation. Landsat 8 OLI images were used to obtain the land use and cover (LUC) classification and to determine the Normalized Burned Ratio index (NBR) for different times. NBR results were used to determine the difference between the NBR (dNBR) before the fire (pre-fire) and after the fire (post-fire), and the results obtained were cross-checked with the LUC. The dNBR results were cross-referenced with biophysical data to identify the characteristics of the most important burned areas in need of vegetative recovery. The results showed the spatial differentiation in vegetation recovery, highlighting different factors in this process, in particular the type of vegetation (the predominant species and bank of seeds available), the biophysical characteristics of burned areas (for example, the soil type in burned areas), the continentality gradient, and the climate conditions. The vegetation recovery was differentiated by time according to the species present in the burned areas pre-fire. In general, shrubland recovery was faster than that of tree species, and the recovery was more marked for species that were regenerated by the rhizomes after fire. The recovery process was also influenced by the season in the study area. It was more efficient in the spring and at the beginning of the summer, highlighting the importance of optimal conditions needed for vegetation regeneration, such as the temperature and precipitation (soil humidity and water availability for growing plants). The results of this research are important to forest planning: the definition of the strategies for the ecosystems’ recovery, the adoption of preventive measures to avoid the occurrence of large wildfires, the modification of anthropogenic practices, etc. Full article
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Article
Atmospheric Trends of CO and CH4 from Extreme Wildfires in Portugal Using Sentinel-5P TROPOMI Level-2 Data
Fire 2021, 4(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire4020025 - 05 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2352
Abstract
Large forest fires have repeatedly affected Europe, in particular the Mediterranean countries. It is now crucial to continue the effort to feed the several layers of prediction models and understand how wildfire spreads in order to develop modern preventative and mitigation methods. The [...] Read more.
Large forest fires have repeatedly affected Europe, in particular the Mediterranean countries. It is now crucial to continue the effort to feed the several layers of prediction models and understand how wildfire spreads in order to develop modern preventative and mitigation methods. The present study evaluates the performance of Sentinel 5-P TROPOMI for the monitoring of carbon monoxide (CO) and methane (CH4) during extreme fire events in Portugal, focusing on the Monchique (2018) and Vila de Rei/Mação (2019) wildfires, which devastated 27,154 ha and 9249 ha, respectively. The spatial distribution and trend of CO and CH4 prior to, during, and following the fire event were accessed and linked with in situ data in a qualitative and quantitative exploration. Large CO plumes were observed with CO columns exceeding 4.5 × 1018 and 6 × 1018 molecules/cm2 on 21 July 2019, and 7 August 2018, respectively. CO distribution profiles after consecutive digital processing steps showed the ability to follow CO fluctuations according to the fire spread. Furthermore, statistically significant differences were found between CO emissions inside and outside the burning area in both fire events. Finally, the CO2 estimated through CO column data presented an emission of 7.6 × 1019 molecules/cm2 for the uppermost emission day on 7 August 2018. Although CH4 monitoring is still unwavering to draw exact conclusions, the CO patterns during extreme fire events show promising and consistent data when compared with in situ data. Full article
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