Biodiversity Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (12): 1390-1399.doi: 10.17520/biods.2016152

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Potential effects of future climate change on suitable habitat of Muntiacus crinifrons, an endangered and endemic species in China

Juncheng Lei1, Sha Wang2, Junwei Wang3, Jun Wu4, *()   

  1. 1 School of Geography and Planning, Gannan Normal University, Ganzhou, Jiangxi 341000
    2 School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Gannan Normal University, Ganzhou, Jiangxi 341000
    3 School of Fine Art, Jiangsu Second Normal University, Nanjing 210013
    4 Nanjing Institute of Environmental Science, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Nanjing 210042
  • Received:2016-06-06 Accepted:2016-11-02 Online:2017-01-10
  • Wu Jun

Understanding the possible changes of suitable habitats for wild animals in the context of climate change has important implications for creating relevant conservation policies in the future. Based on presence records of black muntjac (Muntiacus crinifrons), which were recorded from 1960s to current day, and nine species distribution models, we simulated black muntjac’s suitable habitat under the future climate scenarios. Future climate scenarios were derived from two greenhouse gas concentrations scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5), and two future time slices (2050s and 2080s). Results show that, by the 2050s and 2080s, under the scenario of RCP2.6, areas of the suitable habitat of black muntjac will decrease by 11.9% and 6.2%, respectively, while under the scenario of RCP8.5, they will decrease by 36.9% and 52.0%, respectively. Under the scenario of RCP2.6, the areas of ‘core’ landscape for the suitable habitat of black muntjac will decrease by 20.5% and 10.5%, while under the scenario of RCP8.5, they will decrease by 55.2% and 65.2%, respectively. Under the scenario of RCP2.6, the proportion of stable suitable habitat to the suitable habitat under baseline climate conditions are 75.1% and 84.2%, while under the scenario of RCP8.5, they are 48.3% and 35.8%, respectively. In general, using the scenario with RCP2.6, the effects of future climate change on suitable habitat of black muntjac are minimal. In contrast, under the scenario of RCP8.5, the future climate will have drastic effects on suitable habitat for black muntjac. In particular, the area of suitable habitat and its ‘core’ landscape will significantly decrease, and so will the proportion of stable suitable habitat to the suitable habitat under baseline climate conditions. Therefore, we propose to conserve suitable habitat for black muntjac in the border area of Zhejiang, Anhui, and Jiangxi provinces, and to build corridors to connect different nature reserves for black muntjac.

Key words: Cervidae, climate scenario, species distribution model, habitat, conservation

Fig. 1

AUC values (a) and TSS values (b) for the nine models in predicting the suitable habitat for Muntiacus crinifrons. GLM, Generalized linear model; GBM, Generalized boosting model; GAM, Generalized additive model; CTA, Classification tree analysis; ANN, Artificial neural networks; FDA, Flexible discriminant analysis; MARS, Multiple adaptive regression splines; RF, Random forest; MAXENT, Maximum entropy."

Table 1

Importance of each climatic factor to the distribution of Muntiacus crinifrons based on the Jackknife method (%)"

Standard deviation of temperature seasonality
Max. temperature of warmest
Min. temperature of coldest
of driest
Coefficient of varia- tion of precipitation seasonality
Generalized linear model
14 24 25 60 76 52
Generalized additive model
52 44 46 45 88 57
Generalized boosting model
4 0 0 15 96 1
Classification tree analysis
9 0 1 10 98 1
Artificial neural networks
23 58 56 63 96 72
Flexible discriminant analysis
2 14 13 18 84 0
Multiple adaptive regression splines
9 43 10 19 94 6
Random forest
3 4 3 7 62 7
Maximum entropy
28 1 12 47 99 13
16 21 18 31 88 23

Fig. 2

Suitable habitats for Muntiacus crinifrons under baseline climate conditions"

Fig. 3

Areas of suitable habitats for Muntiacus crinifrons under various climate conditions. RCP2.6 represents radiative forcing peaks at approximately 3 W/m2 before 2100, while RCP8.5 represents radiative forcing reaches > 8.5 W/m2 by 2100."

Fig. 4

Landscape composition of suitable habitats for Muntiacus crinifrons under various climate conditions. RCP2.6 represents radiative forcing peaks at approximately 3 W/m2 before 2100, while RCP8.5 represents radiative forcing reaches > 8.5 W/m2 by 2100."

Fig. 5

Spatial changes of suitable habitats for Muntiacus crinifrons under various climate scenarios. RCP2.6 represents radiative forcing peaks at approximately 3 W/m2 before 2100, while RCP8.5 represents radiative forcing reaches > 8.5 W/m2 by 2100."

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