The impact of climate change on the distribution of two threatened Dipterocarp trees

Deb, Jiban C. , Phinn, Stuart, Butt, Nathalie and Mcalpine, Clive A. (2017) The impact of climate change on the distribution of two threatened Dipterocarp trees. Ecology and Evolution, 7 7: 2238-2248. doi:10.1002/ece3.2846

Author Deb, Jiban C.
Phinn, Stuart
Butt, Nathalie
Mcalpine, Clive A.
Title The impact of climate change on the distribution of two threatened Dipterocarp trees
Journal name Ecology and Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2045-7758
Publication date 2017-03-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/ece3.2846
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 7
Issue 7
Start page 2238
End page 2248
Total pages 11
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Two ecologically and economically important, and threatened Dipterocarp trees Sal (Shorea robusta) and Garjan (Dipterocarpus turbinatus) form mono-specific canopies in dry deciduous, moist deciduous, evergreen, and semievergreen forests across South Asia and continental parts of Southeast Asia. They provide valuable timber and play an important role in the economy of many Asian countries. However, both Dipterocarp trees are threatened by continuing forest clearing, habitat alteration, and global climate change. While climatic regimes in the Asian tropics are changing, research on climate change-driven shifts in the distribution of tropical Asian trees is limited. We applied a bioclimatic modeling approach to these two Dipterocarp trees Sal and Garjan. We used presence-only records for the tree species, five bioclimatic variables, and selected two climatic scenarios (RCP4.5: an optimistic scenario and RCP8.5: a pessimistic scenario) and three global climate models (GCMs) to encompass the full range of variation in the models. We modeled climate space suitability for both species, projected to 2070, using a climate envelope modeling tool "MaxEnt" (the maximum entropy algorithm). Annual precipitation was the key bioclimatic variable in all GCMs for explaining the current and future distributions of Sal and Garjan (Sal: 49.97 ± 1.33; Garjan: 37.63 ± 1.19). Our models predict that suitable climate space for Sal will decline by 24% and 34% (the mean of the three GCMs) by 2070 under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, respectively. In contrast, the consequences of imminent climate change appear less severe for Garjan, with a decline of 17% and 27% under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, respectively. The findings of this study can be used to set conservation guidelines for Sal and Garjan by identifying vulnerable habitats in the region. In addition, the natural habitats of Sal and Garjan can be categorized as low to high risk under changing climates where artificial regeneration should be undertaken for forest restoration.
Keyword Climate change
Conservation planning
Dipterocarp trees
Forest fragmentation
Species distribution
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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