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Model predicts evolution of Mediterranean landscape following fires
Date:7/31/2009

nd soil conditions, the ecosystem could develop into a deciduous chestnut and melojo oak forest.

"The intensity and number of fires have a direct effect on how the vegetation evolves and the types of plants that grow", says Romero, who also points to the significant influence of humans on this and other factors affecting Mediterranean areas. In fact, this research study is part of a broader study into changes in soil use in rural areas, and will be incorporated into other models to help decision making about land use in these areas.

Cellular automata to represent fire

"We used 'cellular automata' to represent how fires spread, bearing in mind the flammability of the ground cover, the gradient of the land, wind speed and moisture levels of the vegetation", the lead author of the study, James D. A. Millington, from Michigan State University in the United States, tells SINC. 'Cellular automata' are mathematical tools used in artificial intelligence to track the movement of linked objects within a grid (in this case a map).

Millington says this model is able to represent landscapes over areas in excess of 1,000 hectares on a map with high spatial resolution (of 0.01 - 10 ha) and over timescales ranging from annual to more than a century.


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Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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