Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220

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Published online December 21, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5141/jee.22.067

Journal of Ecology and Environment (2022) 46:32

Development of a habitat suitability index for the habitat restoration of Pedicularis hallaisanensis Hurusawa

Rae-Ha Jang , Sunryoung Kim , Jin-Woo Jung , Jae-Hwa Tho , Seokwan Cheong , Young-Jun Yoon *

Research Center for Endangered Species, National Institute of Ecology, Yeongyang 36531, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:Young-Jun Yoon
E-mail yjyoon@nie.re.kr

Received: September 29, 2022; Revised: November 3, 2022; Accepted: November 26, 2022

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background: We developed a habitat suitability index (HSI) model for Pedicularis hallaisanensis, a Grade II Endangered Species in South Korea. To determine the habitat variables, we conducted a literature review on P. hallaisanensis with a specific focus on the associated spatial factors, climate, topography, threats, and soil factors to derive five environmental factors that influence P. hallaisanensis habitats. The specific variables were defined based on the collected data and consultations with experts in the field, with the validity of each variable tested through field studies.
Results: Mt. Seorak had a suitable habitat area of 2.48 km2 for sites with a score of 1 (0.62% of total area) and 0.01 km2 for sites with a score of 0.9. Mt. Bangtae had a suitable habitat area of 0.03 km2 for sites with a score of 1 (0.02% of total area) and 0 km2 for sites with a score of 0.9. Mt. Gaya showed 0.13 km2 of suitable habitat for sites with a score of 1 (0.17% of total area) and 0 km2 for sites with a score of 0.9. Lastly, Mt. Halla showed 3.12 km2 of suitable habitat related to sites with a score of 1 (2.04% of total area) and 4.08 km2 of sites with a score of 0.9 (2.66% of total area). Mt. Halla accounts for 73.1% of the total core habitat area. Considering the climatic, soil, and forest conditions together with standardized collection sites, our results indicate that Mt. Halla should be viewed as a core habitat of P. hallaisanensis.
Conclusions: The findings in this study provide useful data for the identification of core habitat areas and potential alternative habitats to prevent the extinction of the endangered species, P. hallaisanensis. Furthermore, the developed HSI model allows for the prediction of suitable habitats based on the ecological niche of a given species to identify its unique distribution and causal factors.

Keywords: endangered species, endemic species, habitat restoration, habitat suitability index, Pedicularis hallaisanensis

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Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220