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Institut für Wasser- und Umweltsystemmodellierung - IWS



"Spatial Comparison of habitat suitabilitiy maps using fuzzy logic"

A fuzzy-based map comparison is applied in this study to assess the performance of aquatic habitat simulation models. We compare simulated habitat suitability maps of spawning areas for European grayling against field observations as well as maps of juvenile habitat suitability, which we have simulated with different habitat modelling approaches. The fuzzy-based method enables a comparison of different rasterized river habitat suitability maps and provides a value of agreement by taking into account: (1) the development of cells in close vicinity to the target cell (fuzziness of location) and (2) the pre-categorized habitat suitability class such as ‘low’, ‘medium’ or ‘high’. (fuzziness of category). The results show an increase in performance, when fuzziness in location and category are considered. Hence, the fuzzy-based map comparison allows considering the degree of uncertainty involved in habitat modelling. Input parameters for the comparison, however, have to be chosen consciously in order to reflect the model dimensions without overstraining on the reliability of map agreement.