Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2014, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (3): 249-261.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2014.00022

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Predictions of potential geographical distribution of Sinopodophyllum hexandrum under climate change

GUO Yan-Long1,2, WEI Hai-Yan1,*(), LU Chun-Yan1,3, ZHANG Hai-Long1, GU Wei2,4,*()   

  1. 1College of Tourism and Environment, Shaanxi Normal University, Xian 710062, China
    2National Engineering Laboratory for Resource Development of Endangered Crude Drugs in Northwest of China, Shaanxi Normal University, Xian 710062, China
    3Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
    4College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xian 710062, China
  • Received:2013-06-27 Accepted:2013-10-16 Online:2014-03-01 Published:2014-02-27
  • Contact: WEI Hai-Yan,GU Wei


Aims Specific information on geographic distribution of a species is important for its conservation. This study was conducted to determine the potential geographic distribution of Sinopodophyllum hexandrum, which is an endangered plant used in traditional Tibetan medicine, and to predict how climate change would affect its geographic range.
Methods The potential geographic distribution of S. hexandrum under the current conditions in western China was simulated with MaxEnt software based on species presence data at 136 locations and 21 climatic variables. The future distributions of S. hexandrum were also projected for the periods 2020s, 2050s and 2080s under the climate change scenarios of A1B, A2 and B1 described in the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
Important findings Results showed that mean temperature of the warmest quarter, annual precipitation, temperature seasonality, and isothermally were the four dominant climatic factors influencing the geographic distribution of Sinopodophyllum hexandrum. For the entire region of the seven provinces in western China, 11.71% of the areas were identified as suitable habitats, 15.86% as marginally suitable habitats, and 72.43% as, unsuitable habitats. The suitable habitats are mainly located in Sichuan, Gansu, Qinghai in the eastern edge of Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, and in areas with rich secondary vegetation and complex terrain in high altitudes. The model simulations indicated that the marginally suitable habitats would have a relatively small change under the climate change scenarios of SRES-A1B, SRES-A2 and SRES-B; whereas the suitable habitats would initially decrease by 2020s, followed by a trend of moderate increased thereafter. The average elevation of suitable habitats would be increased, and both the distributional range and the center of distribution would shift northward first, and then move west to the higher altitudes in mountainous areas of Qinghai-Xizang Plateau.

Key words: climatic change, MaxEnt model, potential geographic distribution, Sinopodophyllum hexandrum