International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Open Access)

Modelling the drivers of natural fire activity: the bias created by cropland fires

İsmail Bekar A B and Çağatay Tavşanoğlu A C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Fire Ecology and Seed Research Laboratory, Department of Biology, Hacettepe University, Beytepe TR-06800, Ankara, Turkey.

B Present address: Forest Ecology, Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems, ETH Zurich, Universitätstrasse 16, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland.

C Corresponding author. Email: ctavsan@hacettepe.edu.tr

International Journal of Wildland Fire 26(10) 845-851 https://doi.org/10.1071/WF16183
Submitted: 9 October 2016  Accepted: 18 July 2017   Published: 20 September 2017

Journal Compilation © IAWF 2017 Open Access CC BY-NC-ND

Abstract

Wildland and cropland fires, which differ considerably in fire regime characteristics, have often been evaluated jointly to estimate regional or global fire regimes using satellite-based fire activity data. We hypothesised that excluding cropland fires will change the output of the models regarding the drivers of natural fire activity. We modelled MODIS fire activity data of western and southern Turkey for the years 2000–2015 using binomial generalised linear models in which many climatic, anthropogenic and geographic factors were included as predictor variables. For modelling, we used different datasets created by the exclusion of various cropland and vegetation land cover classes. More fire activity was observed as the number of cropland-dominated cells increased in a dataset. The explained deviance (%) of the binomial GLM differed substantially in the separate datasets for most of the variables. Moreover, excluding croplands gradually from the overall dataset resulted in a substantial decrease in the explained deviance (%) in the models for all variables. The results suggest that cropland fires have a significant effect on the output of fire regime models. Therefore, a clear distinction should be drawn between wildland and cropland fires in such models for a better understanding of natural fire activity.

Additional keywords: agricultural fire, climate, land cover, Mediterranean Basin, Turkey.


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