Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications

RMRS Online Publication
RMRS-GTR-168DVD: Simulating biophysical environment for gradient modeling and ecosystem mapping using the WXFIRE program: Model documentation and application


Keane, Robert E.; Holsinger, Lisa. 2006. Simulating biophysical environment for gradient modeling and ecosystem mapping using the WXFIRE program: Model documentation and application. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-168DVD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 61 p.

This paper describes WXFIRE, a computer program that computes spatially explicit climate-based, biophysical variables at any landscape scale or resolution using daily weather data, topography, and soils parameters, and a diverse set of integrated environmental functions. WXFIRE computes over 50 biophysical attributes, such as potential evapotranspiration, for each georeferenced stand, polygon, or pixel in a user-supplied list. The user must estimate all input parameters for each record in this list to create an input file. WXFIRE then calculates, record by record, all biophysical attributes by accessing the DAYMET spatial weather database and using the daily weather to compute important climate and ecosystem biophysical variables. The DAYMET database consists of 18 years of daily temperature, humidity, radiation, and precipitation estimates at a 1-km spatial resolution for the contiguous United States. Output from the WXFIRE program can be used to digitally map ecosystem characteristics-including fire regime, fuel model, and vegetation cover type-needed by land managers. WXFIRE is one of the critical computer programs used to map vegetation, fuels, fire regimes, and fire regime condition classes in the LANDFIRE project. A typical application of WXFIRE is presented along with results of an extensive sensitivity analysis.

Keywords: weather simulation, scale, WXFIRE, landscape modeling, biophysical modeling, gradient modeling


This publication is not available online. The contents were published on a DVD and are only available in that format. Please click here to order the DVD of this publication.


Title: RMRS-GTR-168DVD: Simulating biophysical environment for gradient modeling and ecosystem mapping using the WXFIRE program: Model documentation and application
Electronic Publish Date: April 12, 2006
Last Update:
April 12, 2006

RMRS Publications | Order a publication | Contact Us