The prediction of the climate change effect on plant distribution has become a primary research field for conservation practices and planning. The present research predicted future distributions of warm-adapted evergreen trees, Neolitsea sericea (Blume) Koidz. and Camellia japonica L., under climate change in the Korean Peninsula (KP) using an ensemble approach and quantified the predictive uncertainty. For these purposes, we used nine modeling algorithms and the pre-evaluation weighted ensemble method in modelling the current distributions of those evergreen trees; furthermore, we predicted their future distributions under 20 climate change scenarios and averaged the future predictions for ensemble forecasts. The results suggest that both species would expand to the northern part of KP under climate changes; however, the spatial pattern and rate of expansions would be different. C. japonica showed a faster expansion than N. sericea. While C. japonica showed both inland and northward expansions under climate change, N. sericea was mostly distributed in coastal areas. In addition, the highly suitable habitats of N. sericea and C. japonica will decline or shift to the north under climate change. This may indicate that climate change will degrade habitat suitability of those species within the distribution boundary and may restrict their continuous range expansions under further climate changes. Considering the lack of research on the climate-related range shifts of plants in Asia including KP, the present study provides fundamental and practical knowledge for a better understanding of climate-related vegetation changes in Asia as well as in KP.
Ecological Research – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 27, 2017
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