JOBBAGY GAMPEL Esteban Gabriel
Fire patterns in central Argentina
FISCHER MA; DI BELLA CM; JOBBAGY, EG
JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS
ACADEMIC PRESS LTD-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Lugar: Amsterdam; Año: 2012 vol. 71 p. 115 - 127
Wildﬁres can cause severe impacts on the terrestrial ecosystems depending on their frequency and behavior. We studied the environmental factors inﬂuencing the spatial and temporal distribution of ﬁres, their size and duration in the central semiarid Argentina. We identiﬁed ﬁres using MODIS satellite data and we analyzed their association with climate and land cover/use patterns. Spatial and temporal ﬁre patterns varied between eastern, central and western regions according to the presence of agriculture, shrublands and water deﬁcits, respectively. The frequency and behavior of ﬁres also varied temporally with water conditions. Years with low effective precipitations were characterized by an important hotspot density and ﬁre number, as well as the months preceded by two months with low effective precipitation (r 2 : 0.42; p < 0.0001). We observed a spatial delay of ﬁres in a northeastesouthwest sense, related to the delay of the spring beginning (r 2 : 0.7594; p < 0.0001). The mean ﬁre sizes and duration varied signiﬁcantly among vegetation types (F: 10.76, p < 0.0001 and F: 3.703, p < 0.01). Fires were bigger in shrublands and longer in shrublands or forests regarding agricultural areas or degraded areas (F: 16.0, p < 0.0001). The results obtained would be useful to prevent/control ﬁres and to preserve natural resources and human communities.