Biodiversity Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (4): 453-461.doi: 10.17520/biods.2015246

Special Issue: Plant Diversity in the Dry Valleys of Southwest China

• Original Papers • Previous Article     Next Article

Simulation of the potential range of Pistacia weinmannifolia in Southwest China with climate change based on the maximum-entropy (Maxent) model

Lingxiao Ying1, Ye Liu2, Shaotian Chen3, Zehao Shen1, *()   

  1. 1 Department of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871.
    2 School of Urban Planning and Design, Shenzhen Graduate School, Peking University, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055.
    3 Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650204
  • Received:2015-09-14 Accepted:2016-01-15 Online:2016-05-11
  • Shen Zehao

Pistacia weinmannifolia is a characteristic species of dry valleys in Southwest China. In this study, 165 presence points of P. weinmannifolia were identified through field surveys, along with point data of 22 environmental factors. The suitable habitat model was formulated using the maximum-entropy (Maxent) algorithm and applied to simulate the potential range of the species in Southwest China, and to project the change of species range in past and future climate scenarios. The results indicate that the Maxent model gave a high accuracy in habitat predictions for P. weinmannifolia. Temperature seasonality, minimum temperature and precipitation were the major constraining climatic factors. Contemporarily, the environment suitable for P. weinmannifolia was located in the dry valleys of major rivers in Southwest China, and the regions was characterized by decreased temperature variability, no temperatures below 0°C, and low precipitation. Simulations using climate scenarios of the Last Inter-Glacial (LIG) and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) periods indicated that the distribution of P. weinmannifolia was centered around the valleys of major rivers in Southwest China, substantially expanded eastward first, and retreated westward following climate change during glacial and inter-glacial periods, supporting the hypothesis of “glacial out-of-Hengduan Mts.”. Under the future climate scenario (2061-2080) with three representative concentration pathways (RCPs), the potential distribution of P. weinmannifolia was projected to migrate eastward to the valleys in the adjacent region of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and Sichuan Basin, and the adjacent region of the Plateau and western Guangxi, reflecting a high possibility of increasing dryness in the river valleys in the future, while its current distribution might disappear. The potential distribution of P. weinmannifolia would decrease by 33% in Southwest China under the future scenario with both RCP2.6 and 4.5, but would increase with RCP8.5.

Key words: Maxent model, Pistacia weinmannifolia, species range, suitable habitat, climate change

Fig. 1

Study area and locations of 165 samples and 133 meteorological stations"

Table 1

22 environmental variables used for modeling potential suitable distribution of Pistacia weinmannifolia"

环境变量 Environmental variables 代号 Code
年均温 Mean annual temperature Bio1
昼夜温差月均值 Mean diurnal range (Mean of monthly (max temperature - min temperature)) Bio2
等温性 Isothermality (Bio2/Bio7 × 100) Bio3
温度季节性变化标准差 Standard deviation of temperature seasonality Bio4
最暖月最高温 Max. temperature of warmest month Bio5
最冷月最低温 Min. temperature of coldest month Bio6
温度年较差 Temperature annual range (Bio5 - Bio6) Bio7
最湿季均温 Mean temperature of wettest quarter Bio8
最干季均温 Mean temperature of driest quarter Bio9
最暖季均温 Mean temperature of warmest quarter Bio10
最冷季均温 Mean temperature of coldest quarter Bio11
年降水量 Annual precipitation Bio12
最湿月降水量 Precipitation of wettest month Bio13
最干月降水量 Precipitation of driest month Bio14
降水量季节性变异系数 Coefficient of variation of precipitation seasonality Bio15
最湿季降水量 Precipitation of wettest quarter Bio16
最干季降水量 Precipitation of driest quarter Bio17
最暖季降水量 Precipitation of warmest quarter Bio18
最冷季降水量 Precipitation of coldest quarter Bio19
海拔 Elevation -
坡度 Slope -
坡向 Aspect -

Fig. 2

Reveiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of Maxent model for Pistacia weinmannifolia"

Table 2

Dominant environmental variables for potential suitable distribution of Pistacia weinmannifolia"

Environmental variables
Contribution (%)
SD of temperature seasonality
24.2 -
等温性 Isothermality 15.3 +
Precipitation of wettest month
11.2 -
Temperature annual range
9.8 -
Mean temperature of wettest quarter
7.6 -
年均温 Mean annual temperature 6.7 +
年降水量 Annual precipitation 4.5 -
Mean temperature of coldest quarter
4.2 +

Fig. 3

Patterns of potential distribution for Pistacia weinmannifolia in Southwest China under climate change in different periods, and only the east region of the study area (east of 95° E) was showed to highlight the suitable distributions for Pistacia weinmannifolia. There is no distribution in the west of 95° E. (a) Last Inter-Glacial (LIG); (b) Last Glacial Maximum (LGM); (c) Current period; (d) Future with RCP2.6; (e) Future with RCP4.5; (f) Future with RCP8.5."

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