Wildland fire-induced landscape changes in Madera, Chihuahua region [Cambios en el paisaje ocasionados por incendios forestales en la región de Madera, Chihuahua] Article uri icon


  • Fire is a disturbance factor that influences the formation of forest ecosystems by modifying their structure. Wildland fires alter landscape characteristics that can be evaluated when compared to their pre-fire condition. In this study, wildland fire-induced landscape changes and their relationship with burned extent were analyzed in the region of Madera, Chihuahua during the period 2000-2010. Burned perimeters were delineated using spectral indices derived from Landsat TM5 and OLI8 imagery and the vegetation types within burned areas were classified. Landscape metrics of average patch size, number of patches, largest patch index and landscape division were computed within burned polygons and compared with pre-fire landscape metrics. Average patch size and the largest patch index decreased after wildland fires, whilst number of patches and landscape division increased in comparison with pre-fire conditions. Average patch size and the number of patches were correlated with burned area. The results show that landscapes are more heterogeneous and fragmented after the occurrence of wildland fires. Landscape characteristics related to burned area can be used to identify fire-prone landscapes. © 2018, Instituto de Ecologia, A.C. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2018-01-01