A paper, titled “Surface forcing of non-stand-replacing fires in Siberian larch forests” and co-authored by UMD GEOG post-doctoral researcher Dong Chen and associate professor Tatiana Loboda, was published in Environmental Research Letters on 4/11. The abstract of the paper reads:
Wildfires are the dominant disturbance agent in the Siberian larch forests. Extensive low- to mediate-intensity non-stand-replacing fires are a notable property of fire regime in these forests. Recent large scale studies of these fires have focused mostly on their impacts on carbon budget; however, their potential impacts on energy budget through post-fire albedo changes have not been considered. This study quantifies the post-fire surface forcing for Siberian larch forests that experienced non-stand-replacing fires between 2001 and 2012 using the full record of MODIS MCD43A3 albedo product and a burned area product developed specifically for the Russian forests. Despite a large variability, the mean effect of non-stand-replacing fires imposed through albedo is a negative forcing which lasts for at least 14 years. However, the magnitude of the forcing is much smaller than that imposed by stand-replacing fires, highlighting the importance of differentiating between the two fire types in the studies involving the fire impacts in the region. The results of this study also show that MODIS-based summer differenced normalized burn ratio (dNBR) provides a reliable metric for differentiating non-stand-replacing from stand-replacing fires with an overall accuracy of 88%, which is of considerable importance for future work on modeling post-fire energy budget and carbon budget in the region.