Modeling the Suitability Index of Selected Conifers on Mambilla Plateau Taraba State, Nigeria: Implication on Planted Forest

Salako Gabriel, Chandalin Bennett, Aliyu Muhammad Ba, Sawyerr Henry

Abstract


The Mambilla Plateau is a semi temperate highland region found within the broader tropical savannah of northeast Nigeria which supported the growing of cold tolerant fruits such as apple and pears was explored to determine its suitability for growing of cold tolerant conifers in contrasts to the surrounding tropical ecosystems. The authors conducted an exploratory work using both modeling and seedling germination tests to determine the feasibility of survival and suitability of conifers on the Mambilla plateau. The work investigated growth factors such as water availability (maximum average rainfall for optimum growth, minimum rainfall for survival) and temperature (maximum average temperature for optimum growth and minimum temperature required for survival). A climate envelope model (CEM) of species distribution and pre validated germination test were conducted on the selected species in Diva GIS software and on the field respectively to identify the potentially suitable sites on the plateau. Of the four conifer species under investigation Pinus ponderosa of Pacific Northwest, USA origin and Pinus caribaea of Nicaragua var. honduresis origin were found to be potentially suitable to the Mambilla Plateau environment. However, relatively robust and longer field trials were suggested on the two species before any conclusive action is taken.


Keywords


Species Distribution Model; Prediction; Biogeoclimatic Ecosystems; Suitability Index

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