PREDICTING THE DISTRIBUTIONS OF PLANT-SPECIES AT THE REGIONAL-SCALE: A HIERARCHICAL MATRIX MODEL

A J CHERRILL, C MCCLEAN, P WATSON, K TUCKER, S P RUSHTON, R SANDERSON

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Abstract

This paper describes a model which links four levels in an ecological hierarchy using a series of matrices. The four levels are landscape, land cover type, community and species. Each matrix quantifies the probabilistic associations between entities in two adjacent levels in the hierarchy. A landscape classification (1 km resolution) provides a spatial element to the model enabling the distributions of species to be predicted and presented as maps within a geographical information system (GIS). Implementation of the model in Northern England is described. The distributions of 579 species of plants were predicted and compared with data from independent field surveys. The predicted distributions were found to be accurate for 59% of species. The distributions of rare and non-native (introduced) species of plant were relatively poorly predicted. The potential of this approach to model plant species distributions is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-207
Number of pages11
JournalLandscape ecology
Volume10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1995

Keywords

  • LANDSCAPE CLASSIFICATION
  • LAND COVER
  • NATIONAL VEGETATION CLASSIFICATION
  • SPATIAL SCALE
  • GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS
  • ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

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