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Estimating the Historic Probability of Stand-Replacement Fire Using the Age-Class Distribution of Undisturbed Forest

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A simple probabilistic model for the destruction of forest stands by fire is used to determine a likelihood function for the problem of estimating the per annum probability of stand-replacement fire using data in the form of areas in various age classes of undisturbed old-growth forest. This enables the estimation of either an age-independent fire probability or of the parameters of a parametrically defined age-dependent probability. The model includes contagion effects (the probability of a stand burning being increased by other stands burning). Maximum likelihood is used to obtain estimates of the age-independent per annum probability of stand-replacement fire (or the parameters of an age-dependent model), along with a contagion parameter. Confidence intervals for the fire probability are also obtained. For. Sci. 40(1):104-119.

Keywords: Fire history; contagion; even-aged stands; fire cycle; maximum likelihood

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3045, Victoria, B.C. V8W 3P4

Publication date: 1994-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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