Use of geographic information systems (GIS) to identify adequate sites for cultivation of the seaweed Gracilaria birdiae in Rio Grande do Norte, Northeastern Brazil


Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia




This study was designed to select potential areas for cultivation of the seaweed Gracilaria birdiae Plastino & E.C. Oliveira (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta) on the coast of Rio Grande do Norte state, Brazil. The Geographic Information System (GIS) and multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) were used to identify the most suitable areas. The Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) was applied to establish MCE weights, thereby generating viable areas for species cultivation. From a total of 3316.82 ha, around 53.67% (1780.06 ha) were indicated as highly suitable areas, 40.93% (1357.58 ha) as moderately suitable and 5.40% (179.18 ha) as scarcely suitable for seaweed cultivation. Seven areas (1084.62 ha) are located on the northern coast and 20 (2232.20 ha) on the eastern coast. The results show that GIS can be used as an effective instrument for selecting seaweed cultivation areas.

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