Canadian Forest Service Publications

Developing a two-level fire regime zonation system for Canada. 2020. Erni, S.; Wang, X.; Taylor,S.; Boulanger, Y.; Swystun,T.; Flannigan,M.; Parisien, M.-A. Journal of Forest Research 50(3): 259-273.

Year: 2020

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40106

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2019-0191

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Plain Language Summary

Fire regime zonation systems are critical tools for research and management activities. In this study, we develop a hierarchical framework that applies both qualitative and quantitative approaches to create a two-level fire regime zonation system for Canada. The finer-scale level, Fire Regime Units (FRUs), was created through a stepwise synthesis of fire regime metrics based on 1970-2016 fire records, environmental attributes such as topographic features and vegetation, and literature review/expert advice. Each of these 60 Fire Regime Units exhibits an internal homogeneity in fire regime. As non-contiguous units can show similar patterns in fire-related measurements, we performed a clustering analysis on the FRUs to define 15 broad-scale Fire Regime Types (FRTs). Each type is characterized by a unique set of indices related to fire activity, seasonality, and ignition cause. This two-level fire regime zonation system has a large range of applications (e.g., modeling, gradient analysis) and is flexible enough to be updated with new data or when notable shifts in fire dynamics occur.