Predicting the Potential Distribution of Crataegus azarolus L. under Climate Change in Central Zagros, Iran
Keywords:Habitat suitability, Random Forest, Species distribution modeling, Ensemble modeling
Global climate change has had a significant impact on biodiversity and altered the geographical distribution of many plant species. In this study, ensemble modeling based on seven species distribution models was used to predict the effect of climate change on the spatial distribution of Crataegus azarolus L. in Chaharmahal-Va-Bakhtiari province, located in the Central Zagros region, Iran. We used 113 presence points of the species and physiographic, land cover, and bioclimatic variables. Predicting the geographical distribution of the C. azarolus in the future (years 2050 and 2070) was made based on four scenarios of the increase in the greenhouse gases (RCPs: Representative Concentration Pathways) in the general circulation model of MRI-CGCM3. Based on the results, about 20% (3292.192 km2) of the study area can be considered as the suitable habitat of C. azarolus. Precipitation Seasonality, Isothermality, and Mean Temperature of the Wettest Quarter had the highest contribution to the species distribution model. The decline of suitable habitats will be 31.13% to 89.87% by 2050 and 2070 due to climate change, respectively. Assessments showed that the Random Forest was found to be the most reliable model for species prediction. Our results can provide reliable information on preparing adaptive responses for the sustainable management of the species.
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