Evaluation of Geostatistical Techniques for Mapping Spatial Distribution of Soil pH, Salinity and Plant Cover Affected by Environmental Factors in Southern Iran
Keywords:cokriging; IDW; kriging; plant species; soil properties
The study presented in this paper attempts to evaluate some interpolation techniques for mapping spatial distribution of soil pH, salinity and plant cover in Hormozgan province, Iran. The relationships among environmental factors and distribution of vegetation types were also investigated. Plot sampling was applied in the study area. Landform parameters of each plot were recorded and canopy cover percentages of each species were measured while stoniness and browsing damage were estimated. Results indicated that there was a significant difference in vegetation cover for high and low slope steepness. Also, vegetation cover was greater than other cases in the mountains with calcareous lithology. In general, there were no significant relationships among vegetation cover and soil properties such as pH, EC, and texture. Other soil properties, such as soil depth and gravel percentage were significantly affected by vegetation cover. Moreover, the geostatistical results showed that kriging and cokriging methods were better than inverse distance weighting (IDW) method for prediction of the spatial distribution of soil properties. Also, the results indicated that all the concerned soil and plant parameters were better determined by means of a cokriging method. Land elevation, which was highly correlated with studied parameters, was used as an auxiliary parameter.
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