Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2017, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (7): 770-778.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2016.0380

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Predicting the global areas for potential distribution of Gastrodia elata based on ecological niche models

Qin ZHANG1, Dong-Fang ZHANG1,2, Ming-Li WU3, Jie GUO1,4, Cheng-Zhong SUN5, Cai-Xiang XIE1,*()   

  1. 1Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100193, China

    2School of Geographical Surveying and Urban and Rural Planning, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221116, China

    3Pharmacy Faculty, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan 430065, China

    4School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Life Sciences, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
    5Chinese Academy of Surveying & Mapping, Beijing 100039, China
  • Received:2016-12-12 Accepted:2017-05-31 Online:2017-08-21 Published:2017-07-10
  • Contact: Cai-Xiang XIE
  • About author:

    KANG Jing-yao(1991-), E-mail:


Aims Previous studies on the globally suitable areas for growing the medicinal plant Gastrodia elata is lacking. This study aims to predict the global areas for potential distribution of this plant based on multiple ecological niche models. Methods A total of 220 global distribution points of G. elata and 19 ecological variables were compiled and eight environmental variables were selected for the model training. Three ecological niche models, including BIOCLIM, DOMAIN, and MAXENT, were used to predict the global areas for potential distribution of G. elata. The resulting data of different models were analyzed and compared with two statistical criteria: the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and Kappa value. Important findings The predictions of the three models are basically identical, showing that the global areas for potential distribution of G. elata are predominantly in the range of 20° N to 50° N in Asia, mainly in China, South Korea and Japan. A small proportion of the suitable areas occur in India, Nepal and the European countries near Mediterranean. The most suitable areas distribute in provinces close to the Sichuan Basin and the central East China, the mid-eastern parts of South Korea such as Chungcheongbuk-do, Gyeongsangbuk-do and Gyeongsangnam- do, and the Kyushu region and the Shikoku region on Japan’s main island. Therefore, these three countries can be used as the main production areas of G. elata for its commercial development. The AUC average values of the three models are all above 0.9 and the Kappa average values all above 0.65, justifying their applications for predicting the potential areas of G. elata. Among them, the MAXENT model appears to perform the best, followed by DOMAIN and BIOCLIM.

Key words: Gastrodia elata, ecological niche models, potential suitable distribution area, model evaluation

Table 1

Climatic variables"

气候变量 Climatic variables 单位 Unit
年平均温度 Annual mean temperature
月平均温度范围 Mean monthly temperature range
等温性 Isothermality -
温度的季节性 Temperature seasonality -
最热月份最高温度 Max temperature of warmest month
最冷月份最低温度 Min temperature of coldest month
年温度变化范围 Annual temperature range
最湿季平均温度 Mean temperature of wettest quarter
最干季平均温度 Mean temperature of driest quarter
最暖季平均温度 Mean temperature of warmest quarter
最冷季平均温度 Mean temperature of coldest quarter
年降水量 Annual precipitation mm
最湿月份降水量 Precipitation of wettest month mm
最干月份降水量 Precipitation of driest month mm
降水的季节性 Precipitation seasonality -
最湿季降水量 Precipitation of wettest quarter mm
最干季降水量 Precipitation of driest quarter mm
最暖季降水量 Precipitation of warmest quarter mm
最冷季降水量 Precipitation of coldest quarter mm

Fig. 1

Global areas for potential distribution of Gastrodia elata based on different ecological niche models. A, Based on BIOCLIM. B, Based on DOAMIN. C, Based on MAXENT."

Table 2

The AUC and Kappa values of the three models"

No. of groups
AUC Kappa
1 0.914 0.954 0.979 0.700 0.829 0.670
2 0.945 0.972 0.980 0.829 0.851 0.651
3 0.926 0.974 0.979 0.795 0.859 0.717
4 0.902 0.943 0.985 0.759 0.829 0.637
5 0.948 0.966 0.979 0.819 0.822 0.575
6 0.960 0.967 0.981 0.833 0.806 0.664
7 0.938 0.953 0.981 0.789 0.827 0.757
8 0.940 0.962 0.980 0.806 0.883 0.816
9 0.935 0.955 0.980 0.780 0.819 0.664
10 0.949 0.963 0.977 0.800 0.851 0.790

Fig. 2

Average values of AUC and Kappa for the three ecological niche models. AUC, area under receiver operating characteristic curve; BIOCLIM, BIOCLIM model; DOMAIN, domain model; MAXENT, maximum entropy model."

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