Modeling the Potential Distribution of Rare Plant Species of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

We are developing a GIS-based predictive mapping system for several rare plant species that will ultimately be used and maintained by National Park Service staff at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA).  This system will include the following:

  1. A formal knowledge base that will be designed to predict site quality for a given plant taxon based on mapped environmental factors and human activities. The knowledge base will be directly linked to a GIS to generate maps of potential distribution.
  2. Application of the knowledge base to produce site models for two plant taxa (Pentacheata lyonii and the Dudleya cymosa ssp. Ovatifolia complex).
  3. Implementation of the Knowledge Base using existing public-domain software, the Ecosystem Management Decision Support System (EMDS).  EMDS is an application framework for knowledge-based decision support of ecological analysis at any geographic scale.  The system integrates geographic information system and knowledge base system technologies to provide an analytical tool for environmental assessment that is powerful but easy to use.
  4. Testing of the site models against expert knowledge and field observations.
  5. Training of the SMMRNA staff to use the system to incorporate new data as it becomes available and to develop knowledge bases for other plant and animal species.


Frank W. Davis

Funding Agency: 

National Park Service

Project Period: 

September, 1998 to December, 1999