Using species distribution models to assess the importance of Egypt’s Protected Areas for the conservation of medicinal plants

Kaky, Emad and Gilbert, Francis (2016) Using species distribution models to assess the importance of Egypt’s Protected Areas for the conservation of medicinal plants. Journal of Arid Environments, 135 . pp. 140-146. ISSN 1095-922X

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Abstract

Human activities affect the distribution and abundance of plants, with impacts on ecosystem services and human well-being; it is thus vital that a network of Protected Areas is capable of conserving plants that are useful. Using the species distribution (SDM) model algorithm MaxEnt, we tested whether Egypt's network of Protected Areas performs well in conserving the region's important medicinal plant species. We constructed individual SDMs for each species, and then combined the models into a single ‘species-richness’ layer, which we then compared to the distribution of the existing Protected Areas. Temperature was the most important of eleven predictor variables used to build the SDMs. Assuming the SDM's prediction of suitable habitat was accurate and corresponded to the occurrence each of the medicinal plant species, then on average species richness was significantly higher within than outside the Protected Areas. Based on our findings, Egypt's Protected Areas are effective at conserving its medicinal plants.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: MaxEnt; Egypt; Ecosystem services; Conservation
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2016.09.001
Depositing User: Gilbert, Francis
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2016 14:15
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2017 18:41
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/37321

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