Indirect evidence for self-organized criticality in forest fire.
Müller, Michael*,1, Ratz, Armin1, Wissel, Christian1, Grimm, Volker1, 1 UFZ, Leipzig, Germany
ABSTRACT- A power-law distribution of fire size is an indicator of self-organized criticality (SOC) in forest fire ecosystems. Such power laws are produced by theoretical grid-based forest fire models. However, since these models are extremely simple it remains an open question whether they really capture the essential structures and processes of real forest fire ecosytems, for example boreal forests. We present a forest fire model which not only predicts a power-law distribution of fire sizes, but also (1) structural characteristics of real forest fires and (2) maximum diversity in forest structure at intermediate fire frequencies, a relationship which can also be observed empirically. We consider this as indirect evidence that boreal forests are indeed systems showing SOC. We also test the robustness of our results towards changes in parameters describing climatic influences.
Key words: self organized criticality, forest fire ecosystems, boreal forest, intermediate disturbance hypthesis
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