Castanea henryi, with edible nuts and timber value, is a key tree species playing essential roles in China's subtropical forest ecosystems. However, natural and human perturbations have nearly depleted its wild populations. The study identified the dominant environmental variables enabling and limiting its distribution and predicted its suitable habitats and distribution. The 212 occurrence records covering the whole distribution range of C. henryi in China and nine main bioclimatic variables were selected for detailed analysis. We applied the maximum entropy model (MaxEnt) and QGIS to predict potentially suitable habitats under the current and four future climate-change scenarios. The limiting factors for distribution were accessed by Jackknife, percent contribution, and permutation importance. We found that the current distribution areas were concentrated in the typical subtropical zone, mainly Central and South China provinces. The modeling results indicated temperature as the critical determinant of distribution patterns, including mean temperature of the coldest quarter, isothermality, and mean diurnal range. Winter low temperature imposed an effective constraint on its spread. Moisture served as a secondary factor in species distribution, involving precipitation seasonality and annual precipitation. Under future climate-change scenarios, excellent habitats would expand and shift northwards, whereas range contraction would occur on the southern edge. Extreme climate change could bring notable range shrinkage. This study provided a basis for protecting the species' germplasm resources. The findings could guide the management, cultivation, and conservation of C. henryi, assisted by a proposed three-domain operation framework: preservation areas, loss areas, and new areas, each to be implemented using tailor-made strategies. Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
CitationXie, C., Tian, E., Jim, C. Y., Liu, D., & Hu, Z. (2022). Effects of climate-change scenarios on the distribution patterns of Castanea henryi. Ecology and Evolution, 12(12). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.9597
- Bioclimatic factors
- Castanea henryi
- Climate-change scenario
- Habitat suitability
- MaxEnt model
- Species distribution models (SDMs)