Ecological Analysis

IDRISI includes a unique GIS modeling environment for evaluating ecological impacts and environmental processes. Land Change Modeler is an integrated suite of tools for species habitat suitability and gap analysis, species distribution modeling including species range polygon refinement, and biodiversity analysis. Land Change Modeler includes interfaces to Marxan, a utility for reserve planning, and MaxEnt, a species modeling tool.

Land Change Modeler is an excellent tool to incorporate in REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and REDD+ projects. REDD+ expands the concept of REDD to include co-benefits such as conservation and the sustainable management of forests. Land Change Modeler allows for the impact assessment of land change scenarios on proposed conservation efforts.

Although fully integrated into IDRISI, Land Change Modeler is available also as an extension to ArcGIS.

Application areas include:

  • Species habitat assessment and gap analysis
  • Species corridor analysis
  • Species distribution modeling
  • Biodiversity modeling
  • Reserve planning

Analytical Examples:

Habitat Assessment Land Change Modeler

Land Change Modeler provides tools for habitat assessment. Areas are mapped into areas of primary and secondary habitat, primary and secondary corridor, and unsuitable lands based on land cover and habitat suitability. Parameters such as home range, size, buffer widths, and gap crossing distances are also used.

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An interface to MaxEnt extends the existing group of species distribution modeling tools in Land Change Modeler in IDRISI such as the multi-layer perceptron neural network, Mahalanobis typicalities and logistic regression.

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Clark University