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Stability or breakdown under climate change? A key group of woody bamboos will find suitable areas in its richness center

Cupertino-Eisenlohr, Mônica A., Vinícius-Silva, Ronaldo, Meireles, Leonardo D., Eisenlohr, Pedro V., Meira-Neto, João A. A., Santos-Gonçalves, Ana Paula
Biodiversity and conservation 2017 v.26 no.8 pp. 1845-1861
algorithms, bamboos, biodiversity conservation, climate, climate change, databases, forests, geographical distribution, habitat conservation, herbaria, models, records, risk, synergism
Bamboos play an important role in forest dynamics, but management strategies are needed to avoid monodominance. Understanding how climate change would influence the geographic distribution of bamboos could provide management tools for habitat conservation, as well as prevent the expansion of this group. We investigated the distribution patterns of Merostachys species that are endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, under current and future climate scenarios. We obtained occurrence records based on field collection, herbaria data and online databases. We used the Maxent algorithm to model potential distribution. Future scenarios considered the IPCC forecasted climate for 2070. Our models showed that a reduction in suitable areas for Merostachys species will likely occur, but the existence of suitable areas under climate changes in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest indicates climatic stability in some areas of occurrence of these species in their richness center. Since the fact that in places with local dominance of woody bamboos there is a decrease in the diversity of other plant species, the occurrence of Merostachys throughout the suitable areas may represent risks to biodiversity conservation. Investigations of the synergistic effects of climate change and the local dominance of woody bamboos are required. Therefore, management measures may be very important to control the occurrence of woody bamboos in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, mainly in climatically stable areas.