Purse, B.V.; Graeser, P.; Searle, K.; Edwards, C.; Harris, C.

Habitat suitability maps for Rhododendron ponticum across Scotland as reservoir host for Phytophthora

These spatial layers quantify the predicted habitat suitability for Rhododendron ponticum across Scotland. These layers were developed with reference to this species role as reservoir host for Phytophthora plant pathogens, but should have value for management of Rhododendron ponticum as a problematic invasive species. The models were developed by combining biological records of R. ponticum with climate, soil, elevation and woodland cover data. The dataset contains averaged estimates for R. ponticum presence, associated standard deviation for each estimate and locations where environmental conditions in the study region strayed too far from the training set data. This research was funded by the Scottish Government under research contract CR/2008/55, 'Study of the epidemiology of Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae in managed gardens and heathlands in Scotland' and involved collaborators from St Andrews University, Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Forest Research, Forestry Commission and Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH).

Publication date: 2016-07-08

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Supporting documentation

This dataset is available as

  • Esri ArcInfo Coverage
  • ESRI Shapefile

Access and use conditions

This resource is made available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

You must cite: Purse, B.V.; Graeser, P.; Searle, K.; Edwards, C.; Harris, C. (2016). Habitat suitability maps for Rhododendron ponticum across Scotland as reservoir host for Phytophthora. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre. https://doi.org/10.5285/b984a173-8d80-4781-8a53-bef7bcb0d198


© Scottish Government


Study area
Temporal extent
1950-01-01    to    2008-12-31

Supplemental information

Other useful information regarding this dataset:

Purse, B. V., Graeser, P., Searle, K., Edwards, C., & Harris, C. (2012). Challenges in predicting invasive reservoir hosts of emerging pathogens: mapping Rhododendron ponticum as a foliar host for Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae in the UK. Biological Invasions, 15(3), 529–545.


Alexandra Schlenzig at SASA provided advice on premise types. Jim McCleod and Steve Albon from the Macaulary Land Use Research Institute provided the soil data. Prof. David Rogers and the Spatial Ecology and Epidemiology Group at Oxford University provided the MODIS data. Adam Butler at Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS) provided statistical advice. Local Record Centres and their contributing biological recorders provided the R. ponticum data. Based on previous empirical studies of the habitat associations of R. ponticum, seven environmental predictors were selected apriori for modelling. R. ponticum data and environmental data were to run the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt; version 3.3.3e) model. MaxEnt was selected to create the suitability maps from amongst Species Distribution Model techniques because it is specialised for presence-only biological records and is consistently competitive with the highest performing methods. More details on the data and model can be found in the supporting documentation.


Purse, B.V.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Graeser, P.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Searle, K.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Edwards, C.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Harris, C.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Other contacts

Point Of Contact
Purse, B.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
OX10 8BB
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre
Environmental Information Data Centre
Environmental Information Data Centre


Spatial representation type
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid


Topic categories
CEH Topic
Ecological processes and resilience
Reynard Section
Habitats and Biotopes
Place keywords
Taxon keywords
Phytophthora kernoviae
Phytophthora ramorum
Rhododendron ponticum

Dataset identifiers



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