Impact of Past and Future Climate Change on the Potential Distribution of an Endangered Montane Shrub Lonicera oblata and Its Conservation Implications

Yuan-Mi Wu, Xue-Li Shen, Ling Tong, Feng-Wei Lei, Xian-Yun Mu, Zhi-Xiang Zhang
2021 Forests  
Climate change is an important driver of biodiversity patterns and species distributions, understanding how organisms respond to climate change will shed light on the conservation of endangered species. In this study, we modeled the distributional dynamics of a critically endangered montane shrub Lonicera oblata in response to climate change under different periods by building a comprehensive habitat suitability model considering the effects of soil and vegetation conditions. Our results
more » ... Our results indicated that the current suitable habitats for L. oblata are located scarcely in North China. Historical modeling indicated that L. oblata achieved its maximum potential distribution in the last interglacial period which covered southwest China, while its distribution area decreased for almost 50% during the last glacial maximum. It further contracted during the middle Holocene to a distribution resembling the current pattern. Future modeling showed that the suitable habitats of L. oblata contracted dramatically, and populations were fragmentedly distributed in these areas. As a whole, the distribution of L. oblata showed significant migration northward in latitude but no altitudinal shift. Several mountains in North China may provide future stable climatic areas for L. oblata, particularly, the intersections between the Taihang and Yan mountains. Our study strongly suggested that the endangered montane shrub L. oblata are sensitive to climate change, and the results provide new insights into the conservation of it and other endangered species.
doi:10.3390/f12020125 fatcat:hhtm6krzmnh4ppee6e4vlvmc4q