Consideration of anthropogenic factors in boreal forest fire regime changes during rapid socio-economic development: case study of forestry districts with increasing burnt area in the Sakha Republic, Russia

Kiunnei Kirillina, Evgeny G. Shvetsov, Viktoriya V. Protopopova, Lynn J Thiesmeyer, Wanglin Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper presents an original approach to characterizing historical fire regimes for regions with limited fire data. Fire variables were derived from satellite datasets and regional fire occurrence statistics. They defined the integral elements of a fire regime such as historical trends, spatiotemporal evolution, fire seasonality and causes. Temporal evolution was investigated based on a regime shift detection method developed by Rodionov while changes in the fire regime were analyzed for statistical significance using the Mann-Kendall trend test and Sen's slope estimator. A descriptive analysis was performed to assess fire seasonality, causes, and together formed the basis for this methodology. We validated the proposed approach by assessing historical fire activity in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), which is one of the most fire-prone regions of Russia. The assessment was conducted with data from the period of 1996-2018. We detected increases in historical fire activity as well as thresholds of change in the fire regime. Changes during the analysis period included lengthening of fire season, increased burned area extent, and extension of peak fire period. Overall, significant changes in the fire regime were detected in the regions strongly affected by warming and increasing anthropogenic alteration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035009
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 1

Keywords

  • boreal forest
  • burnt area
  • climate warming
  • fire regime
  • fire seasonality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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