Towards a new paradigm in fire severity research using dose-response experiments
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Alistair M. S. Smith; Aaron M. Sparks; Crystal A. Kolden; John T. Abatzoglou; Alan F. Talhelm; Daniel M. Johnson; Luigi Boschetti; James A. Lutz; Kent G. Apostol; Kara M. Yedinak; Wade T. Tinkham; Robert L. Kremens
Publication Year: 2016

Cataloging Information

  • climate change
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • forest structure
  • intensity
  • intensity
  • laboratory fires
  • mortality
  • Normalized Burn Ratio
  • Postfire
  • prediction
  • rate of spread
  • spread
  • statistical analysis
  • topography
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 2, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 55013
Tall Timbers Record Number: 32902
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals - I
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.


Most landscape-scale fire severity research relies on correlations between field measures of fire effects and relatively simple spectral reflectance indices that are not direct measures of heat output or changes in plant physiology. Although many authors have highlighted limitations of this approach and called for improved assessments of severity, others have suggested that the operational utility of such a simple approach makes it acceptable. An alternative pathway to evaluate fire severity that bridges fire combustion dynamics and ecophysiology via dose-response experiments is presented. We provide an illustrative example from a controlled nursery combustion laboratory experiment. In this example, severity is defined through changes in the ability of the plant to assimilate carbon at the leaf level. We also explore changes in the Differenced Normalised Differenced Vegetation Index (dNDVI) and the Differenced Normalised Burn Ratio (dNBR) as intermediate spectral indices. We demonstrate the potential of this methodology and propose dose-response metrics for quantifying severity in terms of carbon cycle processes. © IAWF 2016

Smith, A. M. S. et al. 2016. Towards a new paradigm in fire severity research using dose-response experiments. International Journal of Wildland Fire, v. 25, no. 2, p. 158-166. 10.1071/WF15130.