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Hattab T.,Inat Institute National Agronomique Of Tunisie | Hattab T.,IRD Montpellier | Ben Rais Lasram F.,Inat Institute National Agronomique Of Tunisie | Albouy C.,University of Quebec at Rimouski | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Bottom trawl survey data are commonly used as a sampling technique to assess the spatial distribution of commercial species. However, this sampling technique does not always correctly detect a species even when it is present, and this can create significant limitations when fitting species distribution models. In this study, we aim to test the relevance of a mixed methodological approach that combines presence-only and presence-absence distribution models. We illustrate this approach using bottom trawl survey data to model the spatial distributions of 27 commercially targeted marine species. We use an environmentally- and geographically-weighted method to simulate pseudo-absence data. The species distributions are modelled using regression kriging, a technique that explicitly incorporates spatial dependence into predictions. Model outputs are then used to identify areas that met the conservation targets for the deployment of artificial anti-trawling reefs. To achieve this, we propose the use of a fuzzy logic framework that accounts for the uncertainty associated with different model predictions. For each species, the predictive accuracy of the model is classified as 'high'. A better result is observed when a large number of occurrences are used to develop the model. The map resulting from the fuzzy overlay shows that three main areas have a high level of agreement with the conservation criteria. These results align with expert opinion, confirming the relevance of the proposed methodology in this study. © 2013 Hattab et al.

El Khalili A.,Inat Institute National Agronomique Of Tunisie | Raclot D.,Montpellier SupAgro | Habaeib H.,Inat Institute National Agronomique Of Tunisie | Lamachere J.M.,Montpellier SupAgro
Hydrological Sciences Journal | Year: 2013

Gully erosion is considered to be one of the most important soil erosion processes in Mediterranean marly environments, but its actual contribution to total soil loss is still under discussion. The objectives of this paper are: (a) to acquire the distributed value of erosion rate in a permanent gully developed on a marly substratum in a Mediterranean environment; and (b) to quantify the key factors responsible for the spatial and temporal differences in erosion rates observed within the gully. A permanent gully located in Cap Bon (northeastern Tunisia) has been intensively and regularly monitored over a 7-year period with electronic survey equipment (total station) to give five field topographic surveys, as well as hydrological measurements at the gully outlet. The net soil loss for the 7-year period comprised a denudation of 51 m3 of sediment on the gully bank slopes, which corresponds to a mean soil loss of 61 m3 ha-1 year-1 or 6.1 mm year-1. Denudation was observed on bed units with a slope gradient greater than 20%, while the remainder showed deposition. By confirming the factors involved in gully evolution, and by refining the statistical link between factors and erosion rates within the gully, the results provide important information to predict gully erosion rates in Mediterranean marly environments. © 2013 © IAHS Press.

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