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    The pyrogeography of sub-Saharan Africa: a study of the spatial non-stationarity of fire–environment relationships using GWR

    Sa, Ana and Pereira, Jose and Charlton, Martin and Mota, Bernardo and Barbosa, Paulo and Fotheringham, Stewart (2011) The pyrogeography of sub-Saharan Africa: a study of the spatial non-stationarity of fire–environment relationships using GWR. Journal of Geographical Systems, 13 (3). pp. 227-248. ISSN 1435-5930

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    This study analyses the relationship between fire incidence and some environmental factors, exploring the spatial non-stationarity of the phenomenon in sub-Saharan Africa. Geographically weighted regression (GWR) was used to study the above relationship. Environment covariates comprise land cover, anthropogenic and climatic variables. GWR was compared to ordinary least squares, and the hypothesis that GWR represents no improvement over the global model was tested. Local regression coefficients were mapped, interpreted and related with fire inci- dence. GWR revealed local patterns in parameter estimates and also reduced the spatial autocorrelation of model residuals. All the covariates were non-stationary and in terms of goodness of fit, the model replicates the data very well ( R 2 = 87%). Vegetation has the most significant relationship with fire incidence, with climate variables being more important than anthropogenic variables in explaining vari- ability of the response. Some coefficient estimates exhibit locally different signs, which would have gone undetected by a global approach. This study provides an improved understanding of spatial fire–environment relationships and shows that GWR is a valuable complement to global spatial analysis methods. When studying fire regimes, effects of spatial non-stationarity need to be incorporated in vegetation-fire modules to have better estimates of burned areas and to improve continental estimates of biomass burning and atmospheric emissions derived from vegetation fires.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Africa; Burned areas; GWR; OLS; Spatial non-stationarity;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > National Centre for Geocomputation, NCG
    Item ID: 5758
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Martin Charlton
    Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2015 10:28
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Geographical Systems
    Publisher: Springer Verlag
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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