Year of Publication
Patterns of spatial heterogeneity in forests and other fire-prone ecosystems are increasingly recognized as critical for predicting fire behavior and subsequent fire effects. Given the difficulty in sampling continuous spatial patterns across scales, statistical approaches are common to scale from plot to landscapes. This study compared the performance of four spatial interpolation methods (SIM) for mapping fine-scale fuel loads: classification (CL), multiple linear regression (LR), ordinary kriging (OK), and regression kriging (RK). These methods represent commonly used SIMs and demonstrate a diversity of non-geostatistical, geostatistical, and hybrid approaches. Models were developed for a 17.6-hectare site using a combination of metrics derived from spatially mapped trees, surface fuels sampled with an intensive network of photoload plots, and topographic variables. The results of this comparison indicate that all estimates produced unbiased spatial predictions. Regression kriging outperformed the other approaches that either relied solely on interpolation from point observations or regression-based approaches using auxiliary information for developing fine-scale surface fuel maps. While our analysis found that surface fuel loading was correlated with species composition, forest structure, and topography, the relationships were relatively weak, indicating that other variables and spatial interactions could significantly improve surface fuel mapping.
Hoffman CM, Ziegler JP, Tinkham WT, Hiers JKevin, Hudak AT. A Comparison of Four Spatial Interpolation Methods for Modeling Fine-Scale Surface Fuel Load in a Mixed Conifer Forest with Complex Terrain. Fire. 2023 ;6.