c8.11.5 – Comparison of developed methods for assessing damage level of forest fires in Italian forests

Chiriacò M.V, Cimini D., D’amato E., Barbati A.*, Corona P.

Collocazione: c8.11.5 – Tipo Comunicazione: Poster
8° Congresso SISEF *
Sessione 11: “Poster” *

Contatto: Maria Vincenza Chiriacò (chiriaco@unitus.it)

Abstract: Fires are common disturbances occurring in natural and managed forest ecosystems that significantly impact on the forests on the worldwide scale. In spite of this, there is very little information about the actual fraction of burned biomass and of the related emissions, in particular of CO2, occurring during forest fires and reflecting the behavior of different forest types and forest systems. The aim of this study is to review and compare four different approaches developed in literature to assess the actual fraction of burned biomass during fires in Italian forests. The first approach assumes a complete destruction of the aboveground biomass standing in forest at the time of fire, as currently carried out in Italy for the Kyoto Protocol reporting activities. An alternative approach proposed in Pettenella & Ciccarese (2009) considers the 60% of the annual forest fires as occurring on lands ever burned before with a ratio of destroyed biomass in the rate of 70% of the total standing biomass. A further method adopted in Spain assesses the biomass immediately damaged during a forest fire in the order of 20% of the aboveground biomass (and 60% of the residual carbon biomass) (according to Rodriguez Murillo, 1994). The fourth method is that proposed by Bovio (2007), which differentiates damage levels according to the forest type and the fire intensity assessed by the scorch height. The comparison of annual loss of forest biomass due to forest fires estimated by the four methods has been carried out for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010, using selected data of fire events collected by the Italian National Forestry Service and assuming average volume data obtained from the National Forestry Inventory. The overall estimate of biomass loss due to forest fires varies between 17% and 42% of the total standing biomass when applying the four different approaches, if compared to the most conservative approach that provides the 100% of loss of burned forest biomass.

Parole chiave: Forest Fires, Biomass Loss, Forest Type, Fire Intensity, Comparison Of Methods

Citazione: Chiriacò M.V, Cimini D., D’amato E., Barbati A., Corona P. (2011). Comparison of developed methods for assessing damage level of forest fires in Italian forests . 8° Congresso Nazionale SISEF, Rende (CS), 04 – 07 Ott 2011, Contributo no. #c8.11.5