IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF MIKANIA MICRANTHA ON LAND COVER AND MAXENT MODELING TO PREDICT ITS POTENTIAL INVASION SITES
- 1Survey Department, Nepal
- 2Technical Resources International Inc, USA
- 3Nepalese Army, Survey Mahasakha, Nepal
- 4Department of Civil and Geomatics Engineering, Kathmandu University, Nepal
Keywords: Mikania micrantha, Invasive Species, Chitwan National Park, Image Classification, Maxent Modeling
Abstract. Mikania micrantha is one of the major invasive alien plant species in tropical moist forest regions of Asia including Nepal. Recently, this weed is spreading at an alarming rate in Chitwan National Park (CNP) and threatening biodiversity. This paper aims to assess the impacts of Mikania micrantha on different land cover and to predict potential invasion sites in CNP using Maxent model. Primary data for this were presence point coordinates and perceived Mikania micrantha cover collected through systematic random sampling technique. Rapideye image, Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission data and bioclimatic variables were acquired as secondary data. Mikania micrantha distribution maps were prepared by overlaying the presence points on image classified by object based image analysis. The overall accuracy of classification was 90 % with Kappa coefficient 0.848. A table depicting the number of sample points in each land cover with respective Mikania micrantha coverage was extracted from the distribution maps to show the impact. The riverine forest was found to be the most affected land cover with 85.98 % presence points and sal forest was found to be very less affected with only 17.02 % presence points. Maxent modeling predicted the areas near the river valley as the potential invasion sites with statistically significant Area Under the Receiver Operating Curve (AUC) value of 0.969. Maximum temperature of warmest month and annual precipitation were identified as the predictor variables that contribute the most to Mikania micrantha's potential distribution.