Developing a habitat suitability model to increase the accuracy of Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus Cathartica) and Glossy Buckthorn (Rhamnus Frangula) detection in Minnesota
SubjectsCommon Buckthorn; Glossy Buckthorn; Rhamnus Frangula; Rhamnus Cathartica; Minnesota; Habitat Suitability Model; Invasive Species; Remote Sensing
Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and Glossy Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula) are invasive species that have become an increasing problem in Minnesota. Both R. cathartica and R. frangula degrade wildlife habitat by outcompeting native plants and lack natural controls to curb their growth. Current management efforts focus on spread prevention by detecting R. cathartica and R. frangula at large-scales using true color and false color aerial photography. The accuracy of this methodology was 23 percent. In an effort to increase the accuracy with which R. cathartica and R. frangula are detected in Minnesota, a multi-criteria spatial model was developed to determine habitat suitability for the two species. The model created in this study included four variables: slope gradient, soil taxonomy, land cover, and soil drainage. Preferences for each variable were derived from 32,000 reported infestations outside of the study area. The threshold for the model is 50 percent. Less than 50 percent suitability signifies locations that buckthorn won't grow, while greater than 50 percent signifies locations that buckthorn will grow. The model's accuracy was tested using a sample of 222 locations field checked within the study area. The first iteration of the model produced 42 percent accuracy. If management agencies continue to use aerial photography to detect R. cathartica and R. frangula, the statistically significant increase in detection accuracy produced in this study provides support for the use of a habitat suitability model in concert with aerial photography for future management efforts in Minnesota.
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