Fire is an inherently spatial process that is tightly coupled to spatial patterns in climate and topography. This is particularly true in the dry western United States, where confounded by the legacy of fire suppression and the trend in global warming, large high severity fires are increasingly frequent. Recent work has integrated space and time analyses of fire regimes through the application of geographic information science (GIS). GIS was developed for spatial studies, and it can be effective in multi-dimensional interpretations of fire ecology in many vegetated ecosystems. In order to examine the role of fire in dry ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests of Eastern Washington State, I developed a novel approach for integrating spatial variability and traditional temporal measures of fire return interval, evaluated the role of regional drought on the spatial properties of fire and evaluated the effect of fuel age on spatiotemporal fire dynamics. Dendrochronological data collected by the United States Forest Service on several sites on the east slope of the Cascade Range were used in these analyses. I thoroughly edited and converted this secondary data to a format suitable for GIS applications.
My work suggests that GIS can enrich and supplement traditional, statistical studies that emphasize temporal variability. Spatially explicit, visual representations of fire frequency can reveal relationships between fine-scale topographic features and fire. Spatial patterns of fire, particularly area burned and patchiness, appear to be directly related to annual drought. A spatially explicit, short-term relationship between fuel age and fire recurrence was also revealed. These results demonstrate that new insights can be gained through a spatiotemporal GIS-based analysis of fire variability, which through its visual nature is readily accessible to users with a wide range of expertise.
|School:||West Virginia University|
|School Location:||United States -- West Virginia|
|Source:||DAI-B 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Physical geography, Forestry, Natural Resource Management, Remote sensing|
|Keywords:||Drought, Fire regimes, Pine forests, Pinus ponderosa|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be