Prediction of Distribution of Prangos Uloptera DC. Using Two Modeling Techniques in the Southern Rangelands of Ardabil Province, Iran

Document Type: Research and Full Length Article

Authors

1 Ph.D. Candidate of Range Management, Department of Range & Watershed Management, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran

2 Department of Range & Watershed Management, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran

3 Department of Rehabilitation of Arid and Mountainous Regions, University of Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Range and Watershed Management, Mohaghegh Ardabili

5 Faculty of Agricultural and Natural Resources, Lorestan University, Lorestan, Iran

Abstract

Investigation of the relationship between plant species and environmental factors plays an important role in plant ecology. The present study aimed to develop the best predicting model for distribution of Prangos uloptera DC. using logistic regression (LR) and Maximum Entropy Methods (MaxEnt) in its habitat in the southern rangeland of Ardabil province, Iran. Vegetation data (presence and absence of P. uloptera) and environmental factors (including soil, topography and climatic variables) were collected. The original vegetation type map was prepared using slope and elevation maps (1: 25000 scale) and satellite imagery (Landsat). Vegetation samples were collected in 2016. In each site, three transects of 100 m length were deployed (two transects in the direction of a gradient and one transect perpendicular to the slope direction). On each transect, ten 4m2 plots were placed along each transect, and the total canopy cover and plant density were recorded. Overall, 180 plots were sampled in six sites. Soil samples were collected at a depth of 0-30 cm at the beginning and end of each transect. The LR method was performed in the SPSS Ver. 19 software, and the Maximum Entropy method was carried out in the MaxEnt Ver. 3.1 software. The LR model showed that rainfall had the highest effect on the distribution of the P. uloptera habitat. The accuracy of the LR method for the prediction map was good (Kappa index= 0.65). The MaxEnt method showed that variables, including sand, nitrogen (N), silt, and potassium (K) had the highest effect on distribution of P. uloptera habitat. However, the accuracy of the MaxEnt method was low (Kappa index=0.35). It was concluded that modeling methods could be used as a prediction tool to determine the location of plant species. This may lead to better rangelands management and improvement in areas with similar conditions.

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