Connection between fire activity and land cover/use change in sumatran peatlands 2007-2015

C. Shi, J. Miettinen, S. Chin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


In this study we investigate the connection between fire activity, peatlands and anthropogenic land cover/use changes in the provinces of Riau, Jambi and South Sumatra, Indonesia, from 2007 to 2015. We combine Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) active fire detections with peatland land cover/use maps (2007 and 2015). Our results show that during the nine years studied, fire density (i.e. number of fires per area) is more than three times higher in peatlands than in mineral soils. Within peatlands, areas that had experienced land cover/use change between 2007 and 2015 had clearly the highest fire density with 421 fires/100km 2. In comparison, areas that remained as managed land cover/use types controlled by either small-holder farmers or industrial companies experienced moderate fire activity (116 fires/100km 2 and 159 fires/100km 2 respectively), while primary forests had hardly any fires (2 fires/100km 2). But in absolute fire numbers, unchanged peatland areas experienced nearly as much fire activity as the changed areas over the nine years study period (62494 and 67030 fire detections respectively). 58% of the study area was not affected by fire activity at all during the study period, while 10% of the study area was affected by fires in three or more years. These repeated fires were most common in areas undergoing land conversion and in undeveloped deforested peatland areas.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication38th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing - Space Applications
Subtitle of host publicationTouching Human Lives, ACRS 2017
PublisherAsian Association on Remote Sensing (AARS)
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings


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