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Background: Over the last decade, a significant area of Zagros forests, especially in Ilam Province, west of Iran, has been affected by the phenomenon of oak decline. The most basic item for fighting the decline of these forests is to know site suitability, the parameters affecting it, determining the criteria affecting the decline and preparing a map of the decline potential of these forests. In this study, the efficiency of Maxent on preparing site suitability map of Dalab and Bankol and the most important criteria affecting P.Oak decline was investigated by TOPSIS. The integrated valuation of ecosystem services and tradeoffs (InVEST) was used to prepare a zoning map of decline potential of P.Oak site. Validation of maps was done with receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) and field visits.
Results: The results showed that pc-forest, distance from rivers and temperature are the most important criteria of the distribution of P.Oak. In addition, many parts of both sites were found to lack site suitability. The results of TOPSIS showed that the most important criteria of P.Oak decline are socio-economic criteria.
Conclusions: Decline potential in Bankol was much higher and the pressure caused by stressful criteria was higher in this site. The results showed 6 general stresses of land use change, grazing, pests, charcoal disease, fires and tourism in two sites. Dalab has shown a better condition in terms of decline potential. The reason for this is the operation of conservation management in this site. The obtained results show the efficiency of the used methods.
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