ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2018, Vol. 15, No. 7, pp. 114-128

Long-term dynamics of fire- and wind-related forest losses in northeast European Russia from satellite data

A.N. Shikhov 1 , A.S. Zaripov 1 
1 Perm State University, Perm, Russia
Accepted: 04.10.2018
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2018-15-7-114-128
The paper presents a long-term analysis of fire-related and storm-induced forest disturbances in the northeast European Russia for 1985–2016. The forest disturbances are identified with the use of Landsat images, Global Forest Change data (for 2000–2014) and Eastern’Europe Forest Cover Change data (for 1985–2000). We created the database which contains the data on forest disturbances (burned areas and windthrows) with a total area of 572 thousand ha; 82.4 % of them are burned areas, and the remaining 17,6 % include storm-, tornado- and snow-induced forest damage. The comparison of the identified burned areas with official forest fire data for Komi Republic (for 1996–2016) shows their high degree of coincidence. In 1985–2016, more than 5 % of forest-covered areas were damaged by wildfires in the northwestern and central parts of Komi Republic, and also in the northwest of Perm Krai. Storm-induced forest damage was the most significant in the western part of Kirov region, in the northeast of Perm Krai and southeast of Komi republic. It is shown that the fire-related and storm-induced forest damage increases in the last 30 years. However, the linear trends are statistically insignificant. The estimated trends of forest damaged areas differ from previously published estimates for the entire European Russia. These differences may be related to our more detailed analysis of Landsat images for 1985–1999, because we discovered many previously unknown burned areas and windthrows. Also, we estimated the influence of weather condition of summer season on fire-damaged area based on the data of 15 weather stations. The number of days with maximum temperature higher than +25 and +30 °C, and also the hydrothermal coefficient, averaged for June and July, have the strongest correlation with fire-related forest damage.
Keywords: forest disturbances, wildfires, windthrows, long-term trends, Landsat images, northeast of European Russia
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