Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Climate change may cause distribution area loss for tree species in southern China.

Abstract

Climate change will cause a range shift in tree species, which will create challenges for forest management, utilization and preservation in the future; hence, it is worthy of more attention, especially at the regional scale. Here, we selected 56 common cultured tree species in southern China and employed a comprehensive habitat suitability model to analyse the changes in the potential planting areas of these species at baseline and in different future climate change scenarios. The results indicated that climatic variable changes, especially a change in the mean diurnal temperature range greater than ±0.25°C, will cause a decrease in the distribution area of most tree species in southern China. With the projected temperature rise, the number of species with habitat loss and the rate of distribution area loss will increase significantly. In the most intense warming scenarios, 22 tree species will lose more than 50% of their potential distribution area compared with that in the baseline condition. Additionally, increasing temperatures are expected to cause species diversity loss in the study area. This phenomenon will generate an increase in wood gaps, environmental degradation and the risk of alien species invasion. Mountainous areas in southern China may provide a refuge for tree species in the context of global warming. In future planting initiatives and forest management strategies, the range shifts and distribution area loss for tree species should be fully considered.