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Physiographic and climatic potential areas for Fagus sylvatica L. based on habitat suitability indicator models

Rubio, A., Sánchez-Palomares, O.
Forestry 2006 v.79 no.4 pp. 439-451
Fagus sylvatica, habitats, environmental factors, spatial data, topography, simulation models, equations, forest trees, spatial distribution, timber management, forest stands, stand composition, botanical composition, geographic information systems, Spain
In Mediterranean countries such as Spain, the negligible commercial value of forestry products means that factors such as protection against desertification and the conservation of the diversity of flora and fauna assume a much more important role. In this context, an accurate assessment of the suitability of a territory for species specific takes on special relevance. This suitability can be assessed by developing territorial species-specific models, which we have done by previously studying the habitats of each species. This work analyses the physiographic and climatic habitat of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) in Navarre (northern Spain). With the values of the parameters used, we have defined the central, marginal and extra-marginal habitats; and based on the position of the parameter value in these central or marginal bands, we have developed a suitability index for each parameter. The suitability of a site, in terms of identifying places that appear more favourable for introducing or restoring beech in any site in the Navarran territory, is assessed by means of a habitat suitability indicator, which is the result of the product of all the partial suitability indexes obtained individually for each parameter and which can be integrated into a geographic information system. Maps obtained have been validated through comparison with actual vegetation and with other potential vegetation maps.