Spatial pattern and persistence of historical fire boundaries in southern interior British Columbia
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): G. J. Jordan; M. Fortin; K. P. Lertzman
Publication Year: 2008

Cataloging Information

  • boundary
  • British Columbia
  • British Columbia
  • Canada
  • coniferous forests
  • dendrochronology
  • distribution
  • disturbance
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • fire scar analysis
  • fire size
  • forest fire
  • forest management
  • low intensity burns
  • low-severity fire
  • Moran's I
  • natural disturbance
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • Pseudotsuga
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • Stein River watershed
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 47306
Tall Timbers Record Number: 23224
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Recent ecosystem and fire management research aims to quantify, model and understand historical fire disturbances focusing on their frequency, size and distribution. Less attention, however, has been paid to fire boundaries and their location on the landscape. Our study presents a spatial method to quantify the location, pattern and persistence of historical fire boundaries using tree ring fire scar data in the lower Stein watershed (British Columbia). Data from Pinus ponderosa and Pseudotsuga menziesii collected in 35 one-hectare plots over a 412-hectare study area were analyzed for the period between 1879 and 1947 using local spatial statistics and boundary detection techniques. Results of the analysis using local spatial statistic Moran's I showed significant clustering of boundaries near topographic breaks. To determine and test whether fire boundaries between plots were persistent, we used boundary detection methods and developed a spatially restricted randomization test. The results revealed that out of 86 possible boundary links, 8 were significantly persistent (P < 0.025) while another 8 were significantly rare (P < 0.025). These spatial methods can help determine the historical spatial configuration of persistent boundaries and can be used to maintain natural forest dynamics. © Springer-Science+Business Media, LLC 2007.

Jordan, G. J., M. Fortin, and K. P. Lertzman. 2008. Spatial pattern and persistence of historical fire boundaries in southern interior British Columbia. Environmental and Ecological Statistics, v. 15, no. 4, p. 523-535. 10.1007/s10651-007-0063-7.