Multidecadal Trends in Burn Severity and Patch Size in the Selway-bitterroot Wilderness Area 1900-2007 Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.S., Natural Resources) | Quantifying how the proportion of area burned severely has changed over time is critical to understanding trends in the ecological effects of fire. Most assessments over large areas are limited to 30 years of satellite data, while historical and contemporary fire return intervals are often longer. The change in proportion burned severely was analyzed across 346,304 ha within the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area in Idaho and Montana, USA using fire perimeters and burn severity class for all burned patches as inferred from 1900-2000 digitized aerial photography and 1984-2007 Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery from the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity project. Understanding how proportion of area burned severely has changed over time through three periods of contrasting fire management (1900-1934, 1935-1974, and 1975-2007) at large spatial and temporal scales will help ecologists and land managers better understand vegetation response post fire and will help to inform predictions of future fire effects.

publication date

  • January 15, 2014