• DOI 10.31509/2658-607x-2019-2-3-1-17
  • УДК 630*43; 630*421

Current and historical fire regimes of Pechora-Iilych nature reserve and its surroundings

A.O. Kharitonova*, A.S. Plotnikova, D.V. Ershov

Center for Forest Ecology and Productivity of the RAS

Profsoyuznaya st. 84/32 bldg. 14, Moscow, 117997, Russia

*E-mail: Kharitonova@ifi.rssi.ru

Received 30 June 2019

Recurring fires have a significant impact on the dynamics and functioning of forest ecosystems. The fire regime determines conditions of occurrence, spread and long-term consequences of forest fires. A significant change in the fire regime in the natural complex may indicate at possible loss risks of the key components of the ecosystem. This study presents current and historical fire regimes mapping results for the Pechora natural reserve and its surroundings – Kurinsky and Yakshinsky forest districts. The input dataset consists of fire historical fires records for the area taken from several sources: historical fires dataset of the Pechora natural reserve covering period from the second half of the XIX century till nowadays, which was received from both satellite images interpretation and reserve’s records archive analysis; hot spots detected by airborne-based and ground-based means covering period from 1987 to 2011 and the dendrochronological reconstruction of fires in the pine forests of the reserve’s surroundings for a 600-year period. We applied a methodology of mapping forest ecosystems fire regimes at local level for mapping both current and historical fire regimes. The methodology is based on the LANDFIRE classification, which accounts for fires frequency and fires severity. Results analysis of historical fire regimes indicate the dominance of “less than 200 years” fire return rate, associated with low-to-moderate fire severity for the most of the area. As an exception, the mountainous part of the Pechora natural reserve is characterized by a long period of fire return rate. The analysis of current fire regimes has revealed long periods of fire recurrence in both the reserve area and the forest districts area. We also showed a human impact on the increase in fire frequency. An assessment of the deviation of current fire regimes from their historical values showed that current fire regimes are within their normal historical range in most of the study area.

Key words: fire regimes, the Pechora natural reserve, LANDFIRE, FRCC, GIS analysis.

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