CLIMATE SUITABILITY ANALYSIS OF FAST GROWING TREE SPECIES FOR UTTARAKHAND THROUGH GISHarsh Vardhan Puranik, A.S. Nain and N.S. Murty
The main aim of this study was to identify the suitable area for a fast growing tree species on basis of climatic requirement. Fast growing species (i.e. eucalyptus, pine, poplar, willows (salix) and Acacia catechu) for obvious reasons like market uncertainties, need for early returns, fast rate growth and multiple utility. Plantation of fast growing tree species are an ideal option to increase productivity of wastelands, increase tree cover outside the forest and reduce human pressure on forests. Fast growing tree species have the potential to sequester carbon for a short period, say 68 years. With proper management of trees, a significant fraction of the atmospheric carbon could be captured and stored in plant biomass, soils and is then becomes a viable option to prevent and mitigate climate-change effects. A suitability resulting from the overlay process of the identified theme layers has unique information of tree requirement on which the suitability is based. The identified theme layers include temperature (maximum, minimum and average temperature), precipitation and soil properties. Those thematic layers with their associated attribute data were encoded in GIS database. Overlay operation was performed on those layers as the suitability model assigned. The digital layers were reclassified and given weightings to be analysed further. Finally, suitability map was prepared with four suitability categories namely, most suitable, suitable, moderately suitable and not suitable. According to the final suitability map, 51.5% of land is under most suitable category, 21.9% of land suitable category, 7.0% of land is under moderately suitable and 19.5% of land under not suitable category according to the given criteria. It is recommended that a field checking should be carried out in suitable and moderately suitable land areas for further verification before implementing any plantation activity.
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