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Digital soil mapping for fire prediction and management in rangelands

Author(s): Matthew R. Levi, Brandon T. Bestelmeyer
Year Published: 2018

Background: Soil properties have important effects on fire occurrence and spread, but soils are often overlooked in fire prediction models. Quantifying soil−fire linkages is limited by information in conventional soil maps, but digital soil mapping products (e.g., detailed soil property maps) could improve both wildfire prediction models and post-fire management decisions.

Results: Of our estimated 3.7 Mkm2 of rangeland in the continental US and Alaska, an average of 38 000 km2 burned per year between 2008 and 2017. To highlight the role of soils in fire ecology, we present 1) a conceptual framework explaining why soil information can be useful for fire models, 2) a comprehensive suite of literature examples that used soil property information in traditional soil survey for predicting wildfire, and 3) specific examples of how more detailed soil information can be applied for pre- and post-fire decisions.

Conclusions: Digital soil mapping can improve fire prediction models and inform post-fire management decisions.

Citation: Levi, Matthew R.; Bestelmeyer, Brandon T. 2018. Digital soil mapping for fire prediction and management in rangelands. Fire Ecology 14:11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s42408-018-0018-4
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Mapping
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 18782
FRAMES RCS number: 57037
Record updated: Jan 28, 2019