, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 857-871,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 25 Jan 2008

Using crisp and fuzzy modelling to identify favourability hotspots useful to perform gap analysis


In this study, we propose the use of a favourability function to perform Gap Analysis. To exemplify this, we modelled the distribution of terrestrial mammal species in Andalusia (South of Spain) on the basis of their presence/absence on a grid of 10 km × 10 km UTM cells (n = 961). Using logistic regression and 30 variables related with the environment, space and human influence, we obtained probabilities of occurrence for each species in each cell. We computed a crisp favourability index considering the areas as favourable or unfavourable for a species if the probability of occurrence was higher or lower than the species prevalence, respectively. We also used a favourability function and fuzzy logic to level all species to the same threshold of favourability, which allowed to compare and to combine species distributions. Adding up the fuzzy favourability values for each species in each cell we obtained a fuzzy favourability index that we compared with species richness (sum of species in each cell) and with the crisp favourability index. We performed Gap Analysis by overlapping these results with the current reserve network of Andalusia. Gaps were grouped in fewer and bigger zones after applying the favourability indices. Considerations and recommendations for the use of the favourability function to select areas of conservation interest are discussed.