Halophyte species distribution modeling with maxent model in the surrounding rangelands of meighan playa,Iran

The aim of this study is to examine halophyte species (six species) distribution modeling using the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) method in the surrounding rangelands of Meighan playa,central Iran.Sampling method was random-systematic.A total of 150 plots (30 plots of 2 to 25 m2 in each type) were collected.In each plot,species density and canopy cover were recorded.Soil samples were collected at the start and end of each transect from a depth of 0–30 cm and 30–60 cm.Soil characteristics,including texture,available water,lime,organic matter,acidity (pH),electrical conductivity (EC) and soluble solute (Na+,Ca2+,Mg2+,K+,Co3−2 and Hco3−) were measured in the lab.Maps of environmental variables,including elevation,slope and aspect were prepared using geographic information system (GIS).Soil layer maps were prepared using geostatistical method,including semivariogram analysis and Kriging interpolation.After preparing maps of environmental variables,plant distribution and modeling was conducted using MaxEnt model.Before running the model,the area under the curve (AUC),receiver operating characteristics (ROC) function,equal sensitivity and specificity method,Jackknife test and kappa coefficient were done.Models were built for each species using 70% of the data;the remaining 30% was used to test the models.According to the results,species habitats prefer variables such as soil texture,potassium,lime and organic matter.Kappa coefficient was considered excellent for species habitats of Halocnemum strobilaceum M.Bieb.,1819.) (0.91) and Aeluropus littoralis (Gouan) Parl.,1850) (0.89),for Salsola incanescens C.A.Mey.,1833) (0.84) and Halimione verrucifera (M.Bieb) Aellen,1938) (0.83) as very good,and good for the habitats of Suaeda aegyptiaca (Hasselq.) Zohary,1957) and Limonium iranicum (Bornm.) Lincz.,1952) species (kappa for both=0.7).The results of this study could be used in convenient locations that have resuscitation potential habitat for this species.© 2017,ALÖKI Kft.,Budapest,Hungary.

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