Species Distribution Model: A Case Study of Prunus Africana in Kakamega Forest

A major method for analyzing resource selection of species, predicting and mapping habitat suitability is by use of a geographic Information System (GIS). This research combines data relating to Prunus Africana (also known as Pygeum africanum, or African Stinkwood) in Kenya with spatially explicit environmental factors to understand the Prunus Africana resource selection and habitat preference using a logistic model as developed from the generalized linear model (GLM). Resource selection among the Prunus Africana was similar in that across all sub-regions they selected an area which has similar related factors in terms of the surrounding.
Prunus africana is a large evergreen tree from the Rosaceaea family. It is found in the montaine forests of Kenya. It is an upper canopy tree that can grow as high as thirty meters. Prunus bark contains three active constituents including phytosterols, which are anti-inflammatory agents. It takes fifteen years for the bark to develop the active ingredients necessary for medicinal use. Traditional medicinal uses of the bark include the treatment of stomach aches, urinary and bladder infections, chest pain, malaria, and kidney disease.
In addition, a GIS was used to construct an expert-based habitat suitability map for the Prunus africana across Kenya using a spatial model approach. The map integrates spatial information on biological habitat requirements of the species. This can serve as a useful tool for determining the future of the tree in our forests and the prevention prioritization in Kenya.

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