Cuevas-Gonzalez, M, Gerard, F, Balzter, H, Riano, D (2008). Studying the change in fAPAR after forest fires in Siberia using MODIS. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 29(23), 6873-6892.
Disturbance events such as fire have major effects on forest dynamics, succession and the carbon cycle in the boreal biome. This paper focuses on establishing whether characteristic spatio-temporal patterns of the fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (fAPAR) occur in the initial two years after a fire event in Siberian boreal forests. Time-series of MODIS fAPAR were used to study post-fire dynamics during the year of the fire and the following two years. Three forest types (evergreen needle-leaf, deciduous needle-leaf and deciduous broadleaf) grouped into three latitudinal regions, ranging from 51N to 65N, were studied by analysing a sample of 14 burned areas. For each of the burned areas an adjacent unburned control plot was selected with the aim of separating inter-annual variations caused by climate from changes in fAPAR behaviour due to a burn. The results suggest that (i) the forest types exhibit characteristic fAPAR change trajectories shortly after the fire, (ii) the differences in the fAPAR trajectories are related to the forest type, (iii) fAPAR changes are not significantly different among the latitudinal regions, and (iv) the limited temporal variability observed among the 3 years of observations indicates that fAPAR varies very little in the initial years after a fire event.