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The Relic <i>Trochodendron aralioides</i> Siebold & Zucc. (Trochodendraceae) in Taiwan: Ensemble Distribution Modeling and Climate Change Impacts

Lin, Cheng-Tao, Chiu, Ching-An
Forests 2018 v.10 no.1
Trochodendron aralioides, altitude, climate, climate change, habitats, latitude, models, mountains, prediction, probability, trees, Taiwan
Trochodendron aralioides Siebold &amp; Zuccarini (Trochodendraceae) is a famous relic tree species. Understanding the comprehensive spatial distribution and likely impacts of climate change on T. aralioides in its main habitat&mdash;Taiwan&mdash;is of great importance. We collected occurrence data and bioclimatic data to predict the current and future (year 2050) distribution by ensemble distribution modeling on the BIOMOD2 platform. Visualization of occurrence point data revealed that the main population of T. aralioides was concentrated at medium altitudes and extended to both ends of Taiwan, being especially rich in the northern low mountains. A similar distribution pattern of occurrence probability was shown by ensemble prediction of the true skill statistic >0.8 models. Comparing the current and future distribution of T. aralioides, the overlay analysis with profile display demonstrated spatial turnover that revealed a discrepancy between different latitudes and altitudes. In the future climate, T. aralioides at the middle altitudes of central Taiwan could migrate upward, but its population in northern Taiwan could lose most of its habitat. Consequently, T. aralioides in the low mountains of northern Taiwan could be particularly in need of further conservation research, which is urgently required to mitigate climate change impacts.