A Multi-Criteria Evaluation approach to Delineation of Suitable Areas for Planting Trees (Case Study: Juglans regia in Gharnaveh Watershed of Golestan Province)

Document Type: Research and Full Length Article


1 Gorgan university

2 Department of the Environmental Sciences. Gorgan University


For the successful tree establishment, an evaluation of land suitability is necessary.
In this paper, we demonstrate how to implement fuzzy classification of land suitability in a
GIS environment for afforestation with Juglans regia in Gharnaveh Watershed of Golestan
Province in Iran. Juglans regia is one of the most important agro-forestry species in many
rural parts of Iran. Relevant criteria for Juglans regia and suitability levels were defined using
literature review and expert knowledge and layers were prepared and incorporated into a GIS
database. We also defined the fuzzy membership functions for the criteria and assigned some
important weights through expert knowledge and Analytical Hierarchy Process. This
information was used as input to the weighted linear combination of MCE method. Our
results indicate that a low percentage of area is classed as very highly suitable comprising
some 645 ha or 11% of area for afforestation with Juglans regia. Results of the study also
indicate the usefulness of fuzzy modeling of land suitability which provides some information
for optimum land-use planning.