Spatiotemporal patterns of burned areas, fire drivers, and fire probability across the equatorial Andes Spatiotemporal patterns of burned areas, fire drivers, and fire probability across the equatorial Andes

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Vol18 No.4: 952-972

Title】Spatiotemporal patterns of burned areas, fire drivers, and fire probability across the equatorial Andes

Author】Xavier ZAPATA-RÍOS1,2*, Carmen LOPEZ-FABARA1,2, Abigail NAVARRETE1,2, Sandra TORRES-PAGUAY1,3, Miguel FLORES4

Addresses】1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Ladrón de Guevara E11-253, P.O. Box 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador; 2 Center for Research and Water Resources Studies (CIERHI), Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Ladrón de Guevara E11-253, P.O. Box 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador; 3 Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Universidad Central del Ecuador, Av. Universitaria, P.O.Box 17-03-100, Quito, Ecuador; 4 Modeling, Optimization and Inferential Statistics Group (MODES), Department of Mathematics, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Ladrón de Guevara E11-253, P.O. Box 17-01-2759, Quito, Ecuador

Corresponding author】Xavier ZAPATA-RÍOS

Citation】Zapata-Ríos X, Lopez-Fabara C, Navarrete A, et al. (2021) Spatiotemporal patterns of burned areas, fire drivers, and fire probability across the equatorial Andes. Journal of Mountain Science 18(4). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-020-6402-y

DOI】https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-020-6402-y

Abstract】Field-based fire studies in the equatorial Andes indicate that fires are strongly associated with biophysical and anthropogenic variables. However, fire controls and fire regimes at the regional scale remain undocumented. Therefore, this paper describes spatial and temporal burned-area patterns, identifies biophysical and anthropogenic fire drivers, and quantifies fire probability across 6° of latitude and 3° of longitude in the equatorial Andes. The spatial and temporal burned-area analysis was carried out based on 18 years (2001-2018) of the MCD64A1 MODIS burned-area product. Climate, topography, vegetation, and anthropogenic variables were integrated in a logistic regression model to identify the significance of explanatory variables and determine fire occurrence probability. A total of 5779 fire events were registered during the 18 years of this study, located primarily along the western cordillera of the Andes and spreading from North to South.  Eighty-eight percent of these fires took place within two fire hotspots located in the northwestern and southwestern corners of the study area. Ninety-nine percent occurred during the second part of the year, between June and December.  The largest density of fires was primarily located on herbaceous vegetation and shrublands. Results show that mean monthly temperature, precipitation and NDVI during the pre-fire season, the location of land cover classes such as forest and agriculture, distance to roads and urban areas, slope, and aspect were the most important determinants of spatial and temporal fire distribution. The logistic regression model achieved a good accuracy in predicting fire probability (80%). Probability was higher in the southwestern and northern corners of the study area, and lower towards the north in the western and eastern piedmonts of the Andes.This analysis contributes to the understanding of fires in mountains within the tropics. The results here presented have the potential to contribute to fire management and control in the region.

Keywords】MODIS; MCD64A1;Spectral vegetation indices;Pre-fire season NDVI and precipitation;Remote sensing