Delineating a Managed Fire Regime and Exploring its Relationship to the Natural Fire Regime in East Central Florida, USA: A Remote Sensing and GIS Approach

Forest Ecology and Management, 258 (2), p.132-145, Jun 2009

Duncan, B.W. / Shao, G. / Adrian, F.W.

“A managed fire regime on John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida and surrounding federal properties was mapped using time series satellite imagery and GIS techniques. Our goals were to: (1) determine if an image processing technique designed for individual fire scar mapping could be applied to an image time series for mapping a managed fire regime in a rapid re-growth pyrogenic system; (2) develop a method for labeling mapped fire scar confidence knowing a formal accuracy analysis was not possible; and (3) compare results of the managed fire regime with regional information on natural fire regimes to look for similarities/differences that might help optimize management for persistence of native fire-dependent species. We found that the area burned by managed fire peaked when the drought index was low and was reduced when the drought index was high. This contrasts with the expectations regarding the natural fire regime of this region. With altered natural fire regimes and fire-dependent species declining in many pyrogenic ecosystems, it is important to manage fire for the survival of fire-adapted native species. The remote sensing and GIS techniques presented are effective for delineating and monitoring managed fire regimes in shrub systems that grow rapidly and may be appropriate for other fire-dependent systems world wide.”