Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2018, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (9): 946-954.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2018.0066

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Modeling the potential suitable habitat of Impatiens hainanensis, a limestone-endemic plant

NING Yao1,LEI Jin-Rui2,SONG Xi-Qiang1,3,*(),HAN Shu-Mei1,3,ZHONG Yun-Fang1,*()   

  1. 1Tropical Agriculture and Forestry College, Hainan University, Haikou 570228, China
    2Forestry Institute of Hainan Province, Haikou 571100, China
    3Research Center for Terrestrial Biodiversity of the South China Sea, Hainan University, Haikou 570228, China
  • Received:2018-03-28 Revised:2018-09-11 Online:2018-09-20 Published:2018-09-26
  • Contact: Xi-Qiang SONG,Yun-Fang ZHONG
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the Hainan Provincial Innovative Research Team Program.(2018CXTD334);the National Natural Science Foundation of China.(31560229)


Aims Modelling potential distribution ranges of threatened species is of great significance for their conservation. In this paper, the distribution of potential suitable habitat of Impatiens hainanensis,a limestone-endemic and endangered plant in Hainan Island, was studied to provide scientific basis for their effective in situ conservation and re-introduction of I. hainanensis.

Methods Based on eight occurrence sites and 12 environmental variables, the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) algorithm and GIS technology were used to create a model linking the distribution ranges of I. hainanensis with environments. With data on five actual distribution sites and five non-occurrence sites, four model evaluation metrics (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), kappa coefficient, true skill statistic (TSS), overall accuracy) were used to evaluate the predictive performance and accuracy of this model.

Important findings The results indicated that the indicative value of all four evaluation metrics were above 0.9, indicating that the MaxEnt model can effectively predict the potential suitable habitats of I. hainanensis.Slope, precipitation of the driest quarter and coefficients of precipitation variation were the three main environmental factors influencing the distribution of I. hainanensis. At present, the most suitable habitat includes western and southern parts of Baisha County, the central and southern parts of Changjiang County, the eastern part of the Dongfang City and northeastern Ledong County, accounting for 1.8% of land area on Hainan Island. Since the potential suitable habitat of I. hainanensis is rare and severely fragmented, the protection of this species is urgent. We suggest to collect the seeds of various geographic populations of I. hainanensis to establish a germplasm resource bank. The most suitable habitat of the species, including Tian’an Village and Jiangbian Village in Dongfang City, northeast of Ledong County (Jiaxi Reserve), should be selected as the priority places for future extensive field surveys and re-introduction.

Key words: local adaption, habitat suitability, Maximum Entropy, GIS, Hainan, endemic plant