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11 October 2007
Predicting stand damage and tree survival in burned forests in Catalonia (North-East Spain)
By admin @ 22:24 :: 2588 Views :: Project publications

Author:  González, J.R., Trasobares, A., Palahí, M. and Pukkala,T
Year Published: 2007
Category:  Journal article, Annals of Forest Science,  64
Available From:  www.afs-journal.org


The study developed models for predicting the post-fire tree survival in Catalonia. The models are appropriate for forest planning purposes. Two types of models were developed: a stand-level model to predict the degree of damage caused by a forest fire, and tree-level models to predict the probability of a tree to survive a forest fire. The models were based on forest inventory and fire data. The inventory data on forest stands were obtained from the second (1989-1990) and third (2000-2001) Spanish national forest inventories, and the fire data consisted of the perimeters of forest fires larger than 20 ha that occurred in Catalonia between the 2nd and 3rd measurement of the inventory plots. The models were based on easily measurable forest characteristics, and they permit the forest manager to predict the effect of stand structure and species composition on the expected damage. According to the stand level fire damage model, the relative damage decreases when the stand basal area or mean tree diameter increases. Conversely, the relative stand damage increases when there is a large variation in tree size, when the stand is located on a steep slope, and when it is dominated by pine. According to the tree level survival models, trees in stands with a high basal area, a large mean tree size and a small variability in tree diameters have a high survival probability. Large trees in dominant positions have the highest probability of surviving a fire. Another result of the study is the exceptionally good post-fire survival ability of Pinus pinea and Quercus suber.

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