Objective 3: Apply the model to predict areas of suitable habitat at low risk for wildfires in Algonquin Provincial Park
Using ArcMap 10.5, the procedures described below are performed to apply the weighted MCE model to variables specific to the study area, as well as the final raster calculation to produce the final risk-imposed suitable habitat output. All data is set at the appropriate coordinate system (NAD 1983 UTM Zone 17N) and clipped to the Algonquin Provincial Park raster layer (Figure 2). The processing extent is also set to the Algonquin Provincial Park raster layer.
Next, the Euclidean distance function is applied to the water and roads factors. This tool effectively determines the distance from the closest cells to each factor in the raster layer (ESRI 2007). The application of this function defines suitable habitat for wolves based on the ground distance from each factor. The slope function is applied to the digital elevation model (DEM) to delineate slope values in degrees in raster format.
Figure 2. Data processing and raster development flowchart.
Standardization of the factor criteria scores is performed using the raster calculator tool per the scale outlined in Objective 2 (Table 2). This is performed to output suitability layers for each variable (Figure 3). Land cover is classified and standardized discretely per type using the reclassify tool and is reclassified again to create an additional water constraint layer.
Figure 3. Habitat suitability model variable flowchart.
The hazardous forest type data layer is transformed into a wildfire risk layer through classification using the reclassify tool (Figure 4). Wildfire risk categories are classified per the scale outlined in Objective 2 (Table 6).
Figure 4. Development of the hazardous forest type layer.
The MCE algorithm is input into the raster calculator tool to output a habitat suitability map for Algonquin wolves in Algonquin Provincial Park (Figure 3). Finally, the MCE algorithm will be input into the Raster Calculator with the wildfire risk layer to produce a final map delineating suitable habitat for dens that are at low risk for forest fire disturbance (Figure 5).
Figure 5. Suitable habitat and forest fire risk model flowchart.