Casady, GM, van Leeuwen, WJD, Marsh, SE (2010). Evaluating Post-wildfire Vegetation Regeneration as a Response to Multiple Environmental Determinants. ENVIRONMENTAL MODELING & ASSESSMENT, 15(5), 295-307.
Vegetation regeneration in post-fire environments varies across the landscape of a burned area. Variations are caused by interacting factors, including soil properties, vegetation characteristics, hydrology, land management history, and burn severity. While many of these factors have been explored previously, few studies have investigated the combination of multiple factors. A time-series of the remotely sensed enhanced vegetation index data has been analyzed to estimate rates of regeneration across a burn in central Arizona. We used regression trees to evaluate post-fire vegetation response as a function of multiple factors. Regeneration was a function of elevation (likely a proxy for moisture availability), burn severity, pre-burn vegetation, and post-burn management activities. Both time-series vegetation data and regression trees were valuable tools for determining dominant interacting factors responsible for variations in post-fire regeneration. Evaluation of the time-series data and modeled post-fire vegetation permitted the interpretation of management actions across the burned area.