Rare Plant Habitat Suitability Analysis for Joshua Tree National Park

Publication Date


Committee Chair

Ruijin Ma, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Douglas M. Flewelling, Ph.D.


This project aims to create a methodology for Joshua Tree National Park that will allow them to accurately, efficiently, and cheaply locate potential new sites that can sustain Joshua Tree’s many federally listed rare plants. Using ArcGIS, the project will derive geographically associated data from variables to create habitat indices for five species. The models and methodologies are independent of any specific species, and can be used for all plant data from the park. The values extracted from the models will provide a habitat index to use for locating subsequent plant habitats. By reclassifying the data, applying a weighted overlay, and refining with kernel smoothing, this project limits the probable areas within the park for each species to under 20% of the original size. By the end of the project, the models provide the needed efficiency, the data manipulation provides the accuracy, and the use of ArcGIS provides the low cost. The methodology, therefore, meets the needs of Joshua Tree National Park.

Full text is available at the University of Redlands


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