Biodiv Sci ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (12): 1620-1628.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021209

Special Issue: 青藏高原生物多样性与生态安全

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Vulnerability of two Rhodiola species under climate change in the future

Wenting Wang*(), Tingting Yang, Lei Jin, Jiamin Jiang   

  1. School of Mathematics and Computer Science, Northwest Minzu University, Lanzhou 730030
  • Received:2021-05-24 Accepted:2021-08-11 Online:2021-12-20 Published:2021-11-12
  • Contact: Wenting Wang


Aims: Climate change has a profound impact on global species diversity, especially alpine species diversity. Furthermore, the number of species currently threatened by climate change may increase as climate change. Studying the extinction risk of species under future climate change is of great significance to biodiversity conservation. Rhodiola crenulata and R. chrysanthemifolia are two important medicinal plants distributed on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. However, the potential effects of climate change on each species have not been widely researched. In this study, we investigate the vulnerability of each species to climate change and discuss the relationship between species vulnerability and climatic niche. In addition, we test whether climate change will affect the threat ranking of species in red list.
Methods: In this study, we studied the vulnerability of R. crenulata and R. chrysanthemifolia to climate change using climate-niche factor analysis. We then discussed the influence of climate on the vulnerability of both species change in the context of two “Shared Socioeconomic Pathways” (i.e. SSP2-45 and SSP5-85). Next, we calculated the marginality and specialization of the two species. At the same time, we visualized the climate niches of each species using principal component analysis and analyzed the relationship between climate niches and vulnerabilities of both species.
Results: Our results indicate that the vulnerability of each species is high in the western region of their range, and low in the eastern region of their range. Both species have lower vulnerability to climate change in the Hengduan Mountains, which will serve as a climate refugium for the two species. The vulnerability of the two species under SSP5-85 is higher than that under SSP2-45, and the resource- and energy-intensive socioeconomic pathways (i.e. SSP5-85) will increase the extinction risk of both species in the future. Rhodiola chrysanthemifolia, which is classified as Least Concern on China Species Red List, is more vulnerable to climate change than R. crenulata, which is classified as Endangered. Niche analysis demonstrates that niche marginality and specialization of R. crenulata were lower than that of R. chrysanthemifolia.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that the vulnerability of different species to climate change inhabiting the same region is primarily determined by the climate niche of each species. Climate change may affect the threat ranking of species in red list. It is necessary to consider the impact of climate change when assessing threats to species.

Key words: climate change, vulnerability, endangered species protection, Rhodiola, climate-niche factor analysis