Original scientific paper

Cropland suitability determination for maize (Zea mays L.) using multilevel GIS-based multicriteria analysis in continental Croatia

2021, 22 (3)   p. 636-645

Dorijan Radočaj, Mladen Jurišić, Ivan Plaščak, Željko Barač, Domagoj Zimmer


Previous research in continental Croatia indicated that cropland suitability levels are highly variable and existing natural resources could be better utilized. To overcome this issue, a method of multilevel Geographic information system (GIS)-based multicriteria analysis based on Analytic hierarchy process (AHP) for maize cropland suitability determination was proposed and evaluated. Free spatial data and free open-source software were implemented in the research in 250 m spatial resolution. The effects of air temperature, precipitation, soil and topography were modelled with the multilevel approach to avoid inconsistency in pairwise comparison due to criteria count. The maize suitability index (MSI) was calculated using the weighted linear combination, with higher values indicating proportionally higher suitability. According to the results of the AHP method, the weight consistency ratio was lower than the borderline value (0.042 < 0.100). Soil type and mean air temperature in June had the most impact on the suitability result, with 14.3% and 13.6% influence, respectively. The highest MSI values were achieved along the Sava River, especially in the proximity of Sisak and Nova Gradiška, resulting up to 3.9 of the possible 5.0. The sensitivity analysis of criteria indicated precipitation data in May, July and August particularly impactful in continental Croatia, while mean air temperature in September had very low variability of the suitability and was the least impactful on calculated MSI values.


AHP, open-source software, sensitivity analysis, land management, corn

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