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Oregon State researchers model spatially spreading processes like wildfires caused by lightning.

lightning in the sky above a wildfire

Many ecosystems exhibit spatially-spreading processes that stakeholders would like to manage to either promote or prevent. For wildland fire, one seeks to promote the spread of low-intensity ground fires that prevent the buildup of dangerous fuels while preventing the spread of high-intensity crown fires that destroy endangered species habitat and valuable timber. Researchers from Oregon State University are developing new algorithms that will work with ecosystem simulators and address the risk of catastrophic outcomes such as species extinction or catastrophic wildfires.

Credit: John D. Walstad, Oregon State University.

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