Elaeagnus angustifolia L. has considerable ecological value and plays an important role in windbreak and sand fixation, soil and water conservation, vegetation restoration and afforestation in Asia. Understanding the potential distribution and the limiting climatic factors is the first step for sustainable use of this species at regional scale. Here, we simulated the potential distribution of E. angustifolia and evaluated its limiting climatic factors using a maximum entropy model (MaxEnt) and geographical information system (GIS) in China, based on 190 occurrence grid cells and 13 climatic variables in China. The results show that: (1) annual range of temperature (ART), annual mean temperature (AMT), humidity index (HI), and coldness index (CI) are the dominant climatic factors limiting its potential distribution range; (2) low temperature is an important climatic factor that limits both southern and northern distribution boundaries, and high rainfall is another climatically limiting factor for the southern boundary, and (3) the potential distribution areas are mainly located in the warm temperate and middle temperate zone with cold and dry winters, and in the arid and semi-arid regions of China between 30°N and 50°N. The simulating results can improve our understanding of the geographical and ecological characteristics of E. angustifolia, and provide references for the introduction of this species for control and restoration of degraded land in China.
Ecological Engineering – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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