Evaluating Post-Fire Forest Resilience Using GIS and Multi-Criteria Analysis: An Example from Cape Sounion National Park, Greece

Environmental Management, 2011, Volume 47, Number 3, Pages 384-397

Margarita Arianoutsou, Sotirios Koukoulas and Dimitrios Kazanis

“Forest fires are one of the major causes of ecological disturbance in the mediterranean climate ecosystems of the world. Despite the fact that a lot of resources have been invested in fire prevention and suppression, the number of fires occurring in the Mediterranean Basin in the recent decades has continued to markedly increase. The understanding of the relationship between landscape and fire lies, among others, in the identification of the system’s post-fire resilience. In our study, ecological and landscape data are integrated with decision-support techniques in a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) framework to evaluate the risk of losing post-fire resilience in Pinus halepensis forests, using Cape Sounion National Park, Central Greece, as a pilot case. The multi-criteria decision support approach has been used to synthesize both bio-indicators (woody cover, pine density, legume cover and relative species richness and annual colonizers) and geo-indicators (fire history, parent material, and slope inclination) in order to rank the landscape components. Judgments related to the significance of each factor were incorporated within the weights coefficients and then integrated into the multicriteria rule to map the risk index. Sensitivity analysis was very critical for assessing the contribution of each factor and the sensitivity to subjective weight judgments to the final output. The results of this study include a final ranking map of the risk of losing resilience, which is very useful in identifying the “risk hotspots”, where post-fire management measures should be applied in priority.”

A Web GIS for Sea Ice Information and an Ice Service Archive

Transactions in GIS, April 2011, Volume 15, Issue 2

Songnian Li, Chenfeng Xiong, and Ziqiang Ou

“Sea ice data has significant scientific value for climate, environmental impact and engineering studies leading to the construction of facilities in Arctic waters, as well as to support tourism and fishing planning. Large collections of such data are acquired, compiled, produced and maintained by national and international agencies such as the Canadian Ice Service (CIS). Some of these data collections have been made available online. However, current Internet-based sea ice data dissemination practices do not foster easy access to and use of the data, especially given the amount of the archived sea ice data and the nature of their spatial changes and high temporal variations. This article reports a research effort in developing a web-based geographical information system (GIS) that facilitates the access and use of the historical sea ice data. The system provides online access, exploration, visualization, and analysis of the archived data, mostly in the form of ice charts, within a web-based GIS. The results from a prototype development indicate that web GIS, developed using Rich Internet Application (RIA) technologies, provides added values in serving sea ice data and suggests that such a system can better accommodate more advanced sea ice data access and analysis tools.”

“Let the young ones do it”: How Digital Divides Influence the Use of the Geoweb by Farmers and Food Advocates in Rural Canada

Proceedings of Spatial Knowledge and Information – Canada (SKI-Canada) 2011, March 3-6 in Fernie, BC, Canada

Pamela Tudge

“This study draws on a community-based research project in the North Okanagan Valley of British Columbia to examine the use of the Geoweb in rural Canada and to further understand how non-expert citizens can access and use the Geoweb. The project developed Geoweb applications to map out the local food system with local food advocates and farmers. Semi-structured interviews with participants from local food action groups and regional farmers informed this study. In addition, the researcher throughout the course of the project utilized participant observation techniques. Data includes interview transcripts from 10 participants along with field notes.”