You are here: Home
/ Publication Information
Title: Power laws reveal phase transitions in landscape controls of fire regimes
Author: McKenzie, Donald; Kennedy, Maureen C.
Source: Nature Communications. 3. 6 p. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1731
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Description: Understanding the environmental controls on historical wildfires, and how they changed across spatial scales, is difficult because there are no surviving explicit records of either weather or vegetation (fuels). Here we show how power laws associated with fire-event time series arise in limited domains of parameters that represent critical transitions in the controls on landscape fire. Comparison to a self-organized criticality model shows that the latter mimics historical fire only in a limited domain of criticality, and is not an adequate mechanism to explain landscape fire dynamics, which are shaped by both endogenous and exogenous controls. Our results identify a continuous phase transition in landscape controls, marked by power laws, and provide an ecological analogue to critical behaviour in physical and chemical systems. This explicitly cross-scale analysis provides a paradigm for identifying critical thresholds in landscape dynamics that may be crossed in a rapidly changing climate.
Keywords: self-organized criticality, fire model, landscape model, fire, fire spread
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
XML: View XML
McKenzie, Donald; Kennedy, Maureen C. 2012. Power laws reveal phase transitions in landscape controls of fire regimes. Nature Communications. 3. 6 p. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1731.
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility