Topographic attributes and ecological indicator values in assessing the ground-fl oor vegetation patterns
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Biodiv. Res. Conserv. 2017;(47):9–22
The paper discusses the question whether geographical information systems (GIS) and digital elevation models (DEM) are useful tools for studying correlations between topographic attributes of a given area, and vascular flora requirements reflected by ecological indicator values (EIVs). The model object was a 4-km-long gorge section of the Sopot river valley (80.5 ha), the Central Roztocze Highlands, South-East Poland. Species lists for 40 ca. 200-m-long and 100-350-m-wide sections, according to the river course, separately for the left and right riverbanks, were made. The analysis of the area was based on a 3-meter resolution DEM. We applied primary topographic attributes: slope, and planar, vertical, and total curvatures and also secondary topographic attributes: solar radiation (SRAD) and topographic wetness index (TWI), as well as other terrain characters: denivelation, total, flat and upslope area of each section. Using the multivariate analyses, we analysed relationships between weighted averages of EIVs for each species and topographic attributes.