Modification of a fire drought index for tropical wetland ecosystems by including water table depth

Muh Taufik*, B.I. Setiawan, H.A.J. van Lanen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, we discuss how an existing empirical drought index, i.e. the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) that is commonly used for assessing forest fire danger, has been adjusted and modified for improved use in tropical wetland ecosystems. The improvement included: (i) adjustment of the drought factor to the local climate, and (ii) addition of the water table depth as a dynamic factor to control the drought index. We distinguished three different indices, the original Keetch-Byram Drought Index, the adjusted KBDI (KBDIadj) that represents the original drought index, but including local climate information, and the modified KBDI (mKBDI) that considers both local climate information, and soil and hydrological characteristics. The mKBDI was developed and tested in a wetland forest of South Sumatra (Indonesia) from April 2009 to March 2011. During this period, hydrometeorological data were monitored and used to calculate the KBDI, KBDIadj, and mKBDI. First, mKBDI was calibrated using observed soil moisture that was converted to an observed drought index (DIobs). The results indicate that performance of the mKBDI is encouraging based on the following: (i) its pattern followed the dynamics of DIobs, (ii) prediction of frequency of fire danger classes, and (iii) statistically criteria. The mKBDI clearly outperformed KBDI and KBDIadj. Furthermore, we found a critical water table depth when it reaches maximum fire danger (0.85m for the wetland forest of South Sumatra) below which danger does not increase anymore. The mKBDI could be more widely applied, if pedotransfer functions are developed that link easily obtainable soil properties to the parameters of the water table factor. Our findings encourage land use planners, water managers and stakeholders (e.g. forest estate owners) to integrate local climate information, and soil and hydrological characteristics into the Keetch-Byram Drought Index to better predict fire danger, particularly in tropical wetland ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
Volume203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

water table
wetlands
drought
ecosystems
fire hazard
climate
Indonesia
lowland forests
index
wetlands ecosystem
wetland
pedotransfer function
pedotransfer functions
forest fires
forest fire
stakeholders
soil
soil properties
soil property
managers

Keywords

  • Applicability
  • Critical depth
  • Drought factor
  • Groundwater table
  • Local climate
  • Soil moisture

Cite this

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title = "Modification of a fire drought index for tropical wetland ecosystems by including water table depth",
abstract = "In this paper, we discuss how an existing empirical drought index, i.e. the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) that is commonly used for assessing forest fire danger, has been adjusted and modified for improved use in tropical wetland ecosystems. The improvement included: (i) adjustment of the drought factor to the local climate, and (ii) addition of the water table depth as a dynamic factor to control the drought index. We distinguished three different indices, the original Keetch-Byram Drought Index, the adjusted KBDI (KBDIadj) that represents the original drought index, but including local climate information, and the modified KBDI (mKBDI) that considers both local climate information, and soil and hydrological characteristics. The mKBDI was developed and tested in a wetland forest of South Sumatra (Indonesia) from April 2009 to March 2011. During this period, hydrometeorological data were monitored and used to calculate the KBDI, KBDIadj, and mKBDI. First, mKBDI was calibrated using observed soil moisture that was converted to an observed drought index (DIobs). The results indicate that performance of the mKBDI is encouraging based on the following: (i) its pattern followed the dynamics of DIobs, (ii) prediction of frequency of fire danger classes, and (iii) statistically criteria. The mKBDI clearly outperformed KBDI and KBDIadj. Furthermore, we found a critical water table depth when it reaches maximum fire danger (0.85m for the wetland forest of South Sumatra) below which danger does not increase anymore. The mKBDI could be more widely applied, if pedotransfer functions are developed that link easily obtainable soil properties to the parameters of the water table factor. Our findings encourage land use planners, water managers and stakeholders (e.g. forest estate owners) to integrate local climate information, and soil and hydrological characteristics into the Keetch-Byram Drought Index to better predict fire danger, particularly in tropical wetland ecosystems.",
keywords = "Applicability, Critical depth, Drought factor, Groundwater table, Local climate, Soil moisture",
author = "Muh Taufik and B.I. Setiawan and {van Lanen}, H.A.J.",
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Modification of a fire drought index for tropical wetland ecosystems by including water table depth. / Taufik, Muh; Setiawan, B.I.; van Lanen, H.A.J.

In: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Vol. 203, 2015, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Modification of a fire drought index for tropical wetland ecosystems by including water table depth

AU - Taufik, Muh

AU - Setiawan, B.I.

AU - van Lanen, H.A.J.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - In this paper, we discuss how an existing empirical drought index, i.e. the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) that is commonly used for assessing forest fire danger, has been adjusted and modified for improved use in tropical wetland ecosystems. The improvement included: (i) adjustment of the drought factor to the local climate, and (ii) addition of the water table depth as a dynamic factor to control the drought index. We distinguished three different indices, the original Keetch-Byram Drought Index, the adjusted KBDI (KBDIadj) that represents the original drought index, but including local climate information, and the modified KBDI (mKBDI) that considers both local climate information, and soil and hydrological characteristics. The mKBDI was developed and tested in a wetland forest of South Sumatra (Indonesia) from April 2009 to March 2011. During this period, hydrometeorological data were monitored and used to calculate the KBDI, KBDIadj, and mKBDI. First, mKBDI was calibrated using observed soil moisture that was converted to an observed drought index (DIobs). The results indicate that performance of the mKBDI is encouraging based on the following: (i) its pattern followed the dynamics of DIobs, (ii) prediction of frequency of fire danger classes, and (iii) statistically criteria. The mKBDI clearly outperformed KBDI and KBDIadj. Furthermore, we found a critical water table depth when it reaches maximum fire danger (0.85m for the wetland forest of South Sumatra) below which danger does not increase anymore. The mKBDI could be more widely applied, if pedotransfer functions are developed that link easily obtainable soil properties to the parameters of the water table factor. Our findings encourage land use planners, water managers and stakeholders (e.g. forest estate owners) to integrate local climate information, and soil and hydrological characteristics into the Keetch-Byram Drought Index to better predict fire danger, particularly in tropical wetland ecosystems.

AB - In this paper, we discuss how an existing empirical drought index, i.e. the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) that is commonly used for assessing forest fire danger, has been adjusted and modified for improved use in tropical wetland ecosystems. The improvement included: (i) adjustment of the drought factor to the local climate, and (ii) addition of the water table depth as a dynamic factor to control the drought index. We distinguished three different indices, the original Keetch-Byram Drought Index, the adjusted KBDI (KBDIadj) that represents the original drought index, but including local climate information, and the modified KBDI (mKBDI) that considers both local climate information, and soil and hydrological characteristics. The mKBDI was developed and tested in a wetland forest of South Sumatra (Indonesia) from April 2009 to March 2011. During this period, hydrometeorological data were monitored and used to calculate the KBDI, KBDIadj, and mKBDI. First, mKBDI was calibrated using observed soil moisture that was converted to an observed drought index (DIobs). The results indicate that performance of the mKBDI is encouraging based on the following: (i) its pattern followed the dynamics of DIobs, (ii) prediction of frequency of fire danger classes, and (iii) statistically criteria. The mKBDI clearly outperformed KBDI and KBDIadj. Furthermore, we found a critical water table depth when it reaches maximum fire danger (0.85m for the wetland forest of South Sumatra) below which danger does not increase anymore. The mKBDI could be more widely applied, if pedotransfer functions are developed that link easily obtainable soil properties to the parameters of the water table factor. Our findings encourage land use planners, water managers and stakeholders (e.g. forest estate owners) to integrate local climate information, and soil and hydrological characteristics into the Keetch-Byram Drought Index to better predict fire danger, particularly in tropical wetland ecosystems.

KW - Applicability

KW - Critical depth

KW - Drought factor

KW - Groundwater table

KW - Local climate

KW - Soil moisture

U2 - 10.1016/j.agrformet.2014.12.006

DO - 10.1016/j.agrformet.2014.12.006

M3 - Article

VL - 203

SP - 1

EP - 10

JO - Agricultural and Forest Meteorology

JF - Agricultural and Forest Meteorology

SN - 0168-1923

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