Institut for Biologi

Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

J.-C. Svenning

The fate of Meconopsis species in the Tibeto-Himalayan region under future climate change

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High-mountain areas such as the Tibeto-Himalayan region (THR) host cold-adapted biota expected to be sensitive to anthropogenic climate change. Meconopsis is a representative endangered genus confined to alpine meadow or subnival habitats in the THR. We used climate-niche factor analysis to study the vulnerability of ten Meconopsis species to climate change, comparing current climate (representative of 1960–1990) to future climate scenarios (2070: average 2061–2080). For these ten Meconopsis species, we then identified potential future climate refugia and determined optimal routes for each species to disperse to the proposed refugia. Our results indicate that for the ten Meconopsis species, the regions with low vulnerability to climate change in the THR are the central Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Hengduan Mountains (HDM), the eastern Himalayas, and the West Qinlin Mountain (WQL), and can be considered potential future climate refugia. Under future climate change, we found for the ten Meconopsis species potential dispersal routes to three of the four identified refugia: the HDM, the eastern Himalayas, and the WQL. Our results suggest that past refugia on the THR will also be the future climate refugia for the ten Meconopsis species, and these species may potentially persist in multiple future climate refugia, likely reducing risks from climate change. Furthermore, climate change may affect the threat ranking of Red Listed Species for Meconopsis species, as Least Concern species were estimated to become more vulnerable to climate change than the only Near Threatened species.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEcology and Evolution
Vol/bind11
Nummer2
Sider (fra-til)887-899
Antal sider13
ISSN2045-7758
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2021

Bibliografisk note

© 2020 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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