Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2016, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (11): 1164-1178.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2016.0032

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Responses of the distribution pattern of Quercus chenii to climate change following the Last Glacial Maximum

Yao LI, Xing-Wang ZHANG, Yan-Ming FANG*()   

  1. Co-Innovation Center for the Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China;and College of Biology and the Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
  • Received:2016-01-17 Accepted:2016-05-09 Online:2016-11-10 Published:2016-11-25
  • Contact: Yan-Ming FANG


Aims Quercus chenii is a representative species of the flora in East China, with high ecological and economic values. Here, we aim to simulate the changes in the distribution pattern of this tree species following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and to explore how climatic factors constrain the potential distribution, so as to provide scientific basis for protection and management of the germplasm resources in Q. chenii.
Methods Based on 55 presence point records and data on eight environmental variables, we simulated the potential distribution of Q. chenii during the Last Glacial Maximum, mid-Holocene, present and the year 2070 (the scenario of greenhouse gas emission is Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5) with MaxEnt model. The novel climate area and main factors influencing the changes in distribution pattern were evaluated by multivariate environmental similarity surface analysis and the most dissimilar variable analysis. The importance of environmental variables was evaluated by percent contribution, permutation importance and Jackknife test. Response curves were used to estimate the suitable value range of each variable.
Important findings The accuracy of MaxEnt model is very high, as indicated by the value of the area under the receiver operator characteristic curve of 0.9869 ± 0.0045. The highly suitable region for the present distribution covers southern Anhui, western Zhejiang, northeastern Jiangxi and eastern Hubei. The main factors affecting the potential distribution of Q. chenii are temperature and precipitation, with the former being more important. Mean temperature of the driest quarter is likely the main factor restricting Q. chenii growing in the north. During the LGM, the East China Sea Shelf occurs as the highly suitable region for the distribution of Q. chenii. In the mid-Holocene, the outline of the suitable area for the distribution of Q. chenii is similar to the present. The potential distribution region will likely move northward and experience an area expansion under the climate condition in 2070. At that time, climate anomaly will also be most severe compared to the LGM, mid-Holocene and present. Temperature seasonality and precipitation seasonality may be the main climatic factors promoting changes in the distribution pattern of Q. chenii.

Key words: Quercus chenii, MaxEnt model, Last Glacial Maximum, climate change, distribution pattern