Assessment of the impact of climate change on endangered conifer tree species by considering climate and soil dual suitability and interspecific competition
Abstract: Climate change results in the habitat loss of many conifer tree species and jeopardizes species biodiversity and forest ecological functions. Delineating suitable habitats for tree species via climate niche model (CNM) is widely used to predict the impact of climate change and develop conservation and management strategies. However, the robustness of CNM is broadly debated as it usually does not consider soil and competition factors. Here we developed a new approach to combine soil variables with CNM and evaluate interspecific competition potential in the niche overlapping areas. We used an endangered conifer species - Chamaecyparis formosensis (red cypress) - as a case study to predict the impact of climate change. We developed a novel approach to integrate the climate niche model and soil niche model predictions and considered interspecific competition to predict the impacts of climate change on tree species. Our results show that the suitable habitat for red cypress would decrease significantly in the future with an additional threat from the competition of an oak tree species. Our approach and results may represent significant implications in making conservation strategies and evaluating the impacts of climate change, and providing the direction of the refinement of the ecological niche model.
Keywords: climate niche model, soil niche model, endangered species, interspecific competition, forest conservation, assisted migration
Authors: Wenhuan Xu, Jing Jiang, Huan-yu Lin, Tze-Ying Chen, Shiyi Zhang, Tongli Wang
Journal Name: Science of the Total Environment
Sponsoring Org.: APFNet
Publication Year: 2023