Application of Habitat Suitability and Resistance Surfaces in the Assessment of Habitat Change
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
abitats have dramatically destructed worldwide.However a growing trend is emerging for restoring habitatats. One of the most effective approach to revitalize them is to restore the conditions that have lost. Studies indicate high probability of local extinction of Maral (Cervus elaphus maral) in the current habitats of Gilan due to severe habitat destruction. The current study aimed to introduce application of habitat suitability and resistances surfaces, connectivity paths and corridors for analyzing and monitoring changes in habitats as the starting point of their reconstruction. Based on the results, 35% reduction of suitable habitats, 34% increase in the number of patches, 89% in edge density, and 53% reduction in the average size of patches indicate that occurrence of habitat loss and fragmentation, severely disrupted the integrity of Maral habitats. Increasing cost-weight distance to the Euclidean distance and land cover change of paths and corridors indicate increasing of habitat resistance and reduction of landscape permeability. Results have given a clear picture of the changes in habitat suitability and connectivity of Maral that can play an effective role in restoration process.