Isolating The Lightning Ignition Regime From A Contemporary Background Fire Regime In East-Central Florida, Usa
Anthropogenic influences have altered most fire regimes. Fire management programs often try to mimic natural fire regimes to maintain fuels and sustain native fire-dependent species. Lightning is the natural ignition source in Florida, substantiating the need for understanding lightning fire incidence. Sixteen years of lightning data (1986-2003, excluding 1987 and 2002 due to missing data) from the NASA Cloud to Ground Lightning Surveillance System and fire ignition records were used to quantify the relationship between lightning incidence and ignitions on Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. There were 230 lightning fires with an average of 14 ignitions per year, primarily in July, and only one winter ignition. Precipitation influenced the efficiency of lightning ignitions, particularly July precipitation. We found that negative polarity strikes caused the majority of ignitions. Pine flat-woods was ignited more frequently than expected given equal chance of ignition among landcover types. About half (51%) of detected fires were instantaneous ignitions and the other 49% were delayed an average of 2 days. This information is useful for paramaterizing fire regime models and for mimicking the natural fire regime through fire prescriptions on these properties and throughout the southeastern United States. These methods may be useful in fire-maintained systems globally.
Canadian Journal of Forest Research
Number of Pages
Source API URL
Duncan, Brean W.; Adrian, Frederic W.; and Stolen, Eric D., "Isolating The Lightning Ignition Regime From A Contemporary Background Fire Regime In East-Central Florida, Usa" (2010). Scopus Export 2010-2014. 1258.