Mapping fuels in Yosemite National Park

Seth H. Peterson, Janet Franklin, Dar A. Roberts, Jan W. van Wagtendonk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Decades of fire suppression have led to unnaturally large accumulations of fuel in some forest communities in the western United States, including those found in lower and midelevation forests in Yosemite National Park in California. We employed the Random Forests decision tree algorithm to predict fuel models as well as 1-h live and 1-, 10-, and 100-h dead fuel loads using a suite of climatic, topographic, remotely sensed, and burn history predictor variables. Climate variables and elevation consistently were most useful for predicting all types of fuels, but remotely sensed variables increased the kappa accuracy metric by 5%-12% age points in each case, demonstrating the utility of using disparate data sources in a topographically diverse region dominated by closed-canopy vegetation. Fire history information (time-since-fire) generally only increased kappa by 1% age point, and only for the largest fuel classes. The Random Forests models were applied to the spatial predictor layers to produce maps of fuel models and fuel loads, and these showed that fuel loads are highest in the low-elevation forests that have been most affected by fire suppression impacting the natural fire regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-17
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013

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national parks
national park
fire suppression
history
fire history
fire regime
Western United States
forest communities
canopy
climate
vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Forestry

Cite this

Peterson, S. H., Franklin, J., Roberts, D. A., & van Wagtendonk, J. W. (2013). Mapping fuels in Yosemite National Park. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 43(1), 7-17. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2012-0213

Mapping fuels in Yosemite National Park. / Peterson, Seth H.; Franklin, Janet; Roberts, Dar A.; van Wagtendonk, Jan W.

In: Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 43, No. 1, 01.2013, p. 7-17.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Peterson, SH, Franklin, J, Roberts, DA & van Wagtendonk, JW 2013, 'Mapping fuels in Yosemite National Park', Canadian Journal of Forest Research, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 7-17. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2012-0213
Peterson SH, Franklin J, Roberts DA, van Wagtendonk JW. Mapping fuels in Yosemite National Park. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 2013 Jan;43(1):7-17. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2012-0213
Peterson, Seth H. ; Franklin, Janet ; Roberts, Dar A. ; van Wagtendonk, Jan W. / Mapping fuels in Yosemite National Park. In: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 2013 ; Vol. 43, No. 1. pp. 7-17.
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