Vegetation and Soil Fire Damage Analysis Based on Species Distribution Modeling Trained with Multispectral Satellite Data.

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Quintano, C., Fernández-Manso, A., Roberts, D.A. (2019) - Vegetation and Soil Fire Damage Analysis Based on Species Distribution Modeling Trained with Multispectral Satellite Data. - Remote Sensing

 Forest managers demand reliable tools to evaluate post-fire vegetation and soil damage. In this study, we quantify wildfire damage to vegetation and soil based on the analysis of burn severity, using multitemporal and multispectral satellite data and species distribution models, particularly maximum entropy (MaxEnt). We studied a mega-wildfire (9000 ha burned) in North-Western Spain, which occurred from 21 to 27 August 2017. Burn severity was measured in the field using the composite burn index (CBI). Burn severity of vegetation and soil layers (CBIveg  and CBIsoil ) was also di erentiated. MaxEnt provided the relative contribution of each pre-fire and post-fire input variable on low, moderate and high burn severity levels, as well as on all severity levels combined (burned area). In addition, it built continuous suitability surfaces from which the burned surface area and burn severity maps were built. The burned area map achieved a high accuracy level ( K =  0.85), but slightly lower accuracy when diferentiating the three burn severity classes (K =  0.81). When the burn severity map was validated using field CBIveg  and CBIsoil  values we reached lower K statistic values (0.76 and 0.63, respectively). This study revealed the e ectiveness of the proposed multi-temporal MaxEnt based method to map fire damage accurately in Mediterranean ecosystems, providing key information to forest managers.

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SCI: 
SI
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11
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