Landscape Ecology paper In Press

We were informed this week that the paper I have been working on with Raul Romero Calcerrada and other colleagues at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos has been accepted by Landscape Ecology. I’ve copied the abstract below. It should be out later in 2008, but email me if you want a pre-print.

Currently I’m working on two paper with colleagues describing the construction and initial results of the model I constructed during my PhD research. We’re also submitting abstracts to the European Geophysics Union General Assembly 2008 on this and work related to the Landscape Ecology paper.

The abstract submitted with colleagues at CSIS has been accepted for poster presentation at the US-IALE meeting in Madison in April. Should be a good meeting. Also, the doi for Perry and Millington (2008) in PPEES now works.

Tomorrow I’m heading back to Europe for a couple of weeks. I have my PhD graduation ceremony next week (maybe I’ll post some photos of me looking scholarly/awkward in my academic dress/get-up), a couple days snowboarding in the Swiss Alps, and a couple of days working with Bruce Malamud at King’s following up on the work we published on US wildfire regimes in PNAS. Should be a fun couple of weeks!

GIS analysis of spatial patterns of wildfire human-caused ignition risk in the SW of Madrid (Central Spain) (In Press) Landscape Ecology

Raul Romero Calcerrada; Carlos J. Novillo Camacho; James DA Millington; Inmaculada Gomez-Jimenez

Abstract: The majority of wildfires in Spain are caused by human activities. However, much wildfire research has focused on the biological and physical aspects of wildfire, with comparatively less attention given to the importance of socio-economic factors. With recent changes in human activity and settlement patterns in many parts of Spain, potentially contributing to the increases in wildfire occurrence recently observed, the need to consider human activity in models of wildfire risk for this region are apparent. Here we use a method from Bayesian statistics, the Weights of Evidence (WofE) model, to examine the causal factors of wildfires in the south west of the Madrid region for two differently defined wildfire seasons. We also produce predictive maps of wildfire risk. Our results show that spatial patterns of wildfire ignition are strongly associated with human access to the natural landscape, with proximity to urban areas and roads found to be the most important causal factors. We suggest these characteristics and recent socio-economic trends in Spain may be producing landscapes and wildfire ignition risk characteristics that are increasingly similar to Mediterranean regions with historically stronger economies, such as California, where the urban-wildland interface is large and recreation in forested areas is high. We also find that the WofE model is useful for estimating future wildfire risk. We suggest the methods presented here will be useful to optimize time,
human resources and fire management funds in areas where urbanization is increasing the urban-forest interface and where human activity is an important cause of wildfire ignition.

Update 06/02/08: This paper is now online here and here.

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