Devineau, JL, Fournier, A, Nignan, S (2010). Savanna fire regimes assessment with MODIS fire data: Their relationship to land cover and plant species distribution in western Burkina Faso (West Africa). JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS, 74(9), 1092-1101.
The West African savannas are subject to changes in fire regimes related to land use intensification, which may infer significant biological modifications. We investigated the efficiency of MODIS fire products to account for the variability of fire regimes in relation to changes in land cover and savanna vegetation. The specificity and complementarities of both MODIS active fire (MOD14A2 and MYD14A2) and burnt area (MCD45A1) products were assessed in order to characterize fire regimes and to relate them with land cover. In addition the distribution of plant species among landscape units characterised by specific fire regimes was assessed. The calculation of the mutual information made it possible to set apart species more frequent in landscapes little or not at all subject to fire and species more frequent in burnt areas. The first group is the expression of the nature of the unburnt land-cover units, made up mainly of the agricultural areas dominated by fields and fallows. It consists of more potential threats (weeds, encroachers, invasive species etc.) than the second group, which is more typical of sudanian savannas, where fire provides the long-term stability needed to preserve the ecosystem. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.