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Assessing spatial patterns of burn severity for guiding post-fire salvage logging in boreal forests of Eastern Canada

Danneyrolles Victor, Smetanka Charlotte, Fournier Richard, Boucher Jonathan, Guindon Luc, Waldron Kaysandra, Bourdon Jean-François, Bonfils Djoan, Beaudoin Milène, Ibarzabal Jacques, Rossi Sergio et Boucher Yan. (2024). Assessing spatial patterns of burn severity for guiding post-fire salvage logging in boreal forests of Eastern Canada. Forest Ecology and Management, 556, e121756.

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Areas affected by forest fires are increasing worldwide, making salvage logging (i.e., harvesting fire-affected trees) an increasingly used practice to reduce the economic impacts of fire on forestry. However, salvage logging can have strong ecological impacts, notably on post-fire forest regeneration and biodiversity. Burn severity (i.e., the degree to which fires impact the vegetation and soil) is also a central element that interacts with pre-fire forest characteristics and salvages logging to control post-fire forest dynamics and biodiversity. In an ecosystem-based forest management context, spatial patterns of burn severity should thus be considered when planning salvage logging operations. This study presents a simple and innovative method to generate burn severity maps with Landsat and Sentinel-2 multispectral imageries to support salvage logging operations rapidly after a fire event. We assembled a unique dataset involving 330 plots from 10 burns (from 2010 to 2020) in which burn severity has been estimated on the field using the composite burn index (CBI) approach in eastern North America. CBI values were modelled as a univariate function of changes in spectral indices using the first cloud-free post-fire satellite images taken after the burns. Our results demonstrate that using free satellite images with straightforward methods can produce reliable and ecologically meaningful burn severity maps within the few weeks following a fire event. The method was then applied to a case study with salvage logging that illustrates how our burn severity maps could be a useful tool for guiding post-fire forestry operations in an ecosystem-based management context. We combined burn severity maps with pre-fire forest composition and age maps to assess immediate post-fire forest. We discuss how such an approach helps to guide salvage planning and maintain residual forests that are representative of the initial post-fire spatial variability in burn severity and pre-fire vegetation. We conclude that rapid mapping of burn severity after a forest fire event may offer many other applications for identifying and managing recently burned forests.

Type de document:Article publié dans une revue avec comité d'évaluation
Version évaluée par les pairs:Oui
Date:Mars 2024
Nombre de pages:1
Identifiant unique:10.1016/j.foreco.2024.121756
Sujets:Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences appliquées > Foresterie et sciences du bois
Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences naturelles > Biologie et autres sciences connexes
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des sciences fondamentales
Unités de recherche > Centre de recherche sur la Boréalie (CREB)
Mots-clés:ecosystem-based forest management, disturbed forests, fire, black spruce, Picea mariana, differenced Normalized Burn Ratio, DNBR, RBR, RdNBR, satellite-based spectral indices
Déposé le:05 mars 2024 13:57
Dernière modification:05 mars 2024 13:57
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