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A review of logistic regression models used to predict post-fire tree mortality of western North American conifers

Author(s): Travis J. Woolley, David C. Shaw, Lisa Ganio, Stephen A. Fitzgerald
Year Published: 2012

Logistic regression models used to predict tree mortality are critical to post-fire management, planning prescribed burns and understanding disturbance ecology. We review literature concerning post-fire mortality prediction using logistic regression models for coniferous tree species in the western USA. We include synthesis and review of: methods to develop, evaluate and interpret logistic regression models; explanatory variables in logistic regression models; factors influencing scope of inference and model limitations; model validation; and management applications. Logistic regression is currently the most widely used and available technique for predicting post-fire tree mortality. Over 100 logistic regression models have been developed to predict post-fire tree mortality for 19 coniferous species following wild and prescribed fires. The most widely used explanatory variables in post-fire tree mortality logistic regression models have been measurements of crown (e.g. crown scorch) and stem (e.g. bole char) injury. Prediction of post-fire tree mortality improves when crown and stem variables are used collectively. Logistic regression models that predict post-fire tree mortality are the basis of simple field tools and contribute to larger fire-effects models. Future post-fire tree mortality prediction models should include consistent definition of model variables, model validation and direct incorporation of physiological responses that link to process modelling efforts.

Citation: Woolley, Travis; Shaw, David C.; Ganio, Lisa M.; Fitzgerald, Stephen. 2012. A review of logistic regression models used to predict post-fire tree mortality of western North American conifers. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 21(1): 1-35.
Topic(s): Fire Ecology, Insects & Disease, Fire & Bark Beetles, Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Vegetation, Recovery after fire, Resilience
Ecosystem(s): Montane wet mixed-conifer forest, Montane dry mixed-conifer forest, Ponderosa pine woodland/savanna
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article, Synthesis
NRFSN number: 8303
FRAMES RCS number: 11634
Record updated: Jul 26, 2018