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Predicting climate change impacts on the threatened Quercus arbutifolia in montane cloud forests in southern China and Vietnam: Conservation implications

  • Song, Yi-Gang Shanghai Chenshan Plant Science Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China - Department of Biology and Botanic Garden, University of Fribourg, Switzerland - Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yezin, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
  • Petitpierre, Blaise Info Flora, Chambesy-Geneve, Switzerland
  • Denga, Min Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yezin, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
  • Wu, Jin-Ping Administration of Fujian Meihua Mountain National Nature Reserve, Shanghang, China
  • Kozlowski, Gregor Department of Biology and Botanic Garden, University of Fribourg, Switzerland - Natural History Museum Fribourg, Switzerland
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    15.07.2019
Published in:
  • Forest Ecology and Management. - 2019, vol. 444, p. 269–279
English Trees of montane cloud forests (MCFs) often have small and isolated populations and face numerous threats. Due to limited conservation resources, management decisions are often based on scarce biological information. This study investigated the current status of populations of the critically endangered oak species Quercus arbutifolia in southern China, including its distribution, threats, population structure, and area of occupancy (AOO). Additionally, by using ensembles of small models (ESMs), the present and future (2050) distributions of climatically suitable habitats were predicted throughout south China and Vietnam. The present distribution of Q. arbutifolia is extremely fragmented, with only eight confirmed populations and a very small number of individuals (ca. 1200 in total). The results presented here show that Q. arbutifolia populations suffer from habitat destruction and fragmentation, small population size, unbalanced population structure, and pressure from strong competitor species, even though all known occurrences of Q. arbutifolia are in already established nature reserves. Based on the utilized models, the current potential distribution is limited to MCFs, and 17 new areas were predicted to have complete habitats suitability for Q. arbutifolia. However, only a small area in Fujian province will remain suitable for Q. arbutifolia in the future. The current AOO of Q. arbutifolia is very small (8.49 km2), with one-third of all populations predicted to be extinct by 2050, even under the minimum emission assumption. Finally, various actions and conservation measures, such as search for new unknown populations as well as ex situ and in situ conservation, are introduced and discussed in this paper.
Faculty
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Department
Département de Biologie
Language
  • English
Classification
Biology
License
License undefined
Identifiers
Persistent URL
https://folia.unifr.ch/unifr/documents/307935
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