Replication Data for: Response to climate change of montane herbaceous plants in the genus Rhodiola predicted by ecological niche modelling uri icon


  • Climate change profoundly infuences species distributions. These efects are evident in poleward latitudinal range shifts for many taxa, and upward altitudinal range shifts for alpine species, that resulted from increased annual global temperatures since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ca. 22,000 BP). For the latter, the ultimate consequence of upward shifts may be extinction as species in the highest alpine ecosystems can migrate no further, a phenomenon often characterized as 'nowhere to go'. To predict responses to climate change of the alpine plants on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), we used ecological niche modelling (ENM) to estimate the range shifts of 14 Rhodiola species, beginning with the Last Interglacial (ca. 120,000–140,000 BP) through to 2050. Distributions of Rhodiola species appear to be shaped by temperature-related variables. The southeastern QTP, and especially the Hengduan Mountains, were the origin and center of distribution for Rhodiola, and also served as refugia during the LGM. Under future climate scenario in 2050, Rhodiola species might have to migrate upward and northward, but many species would expand their ranges contra the prediction of the 'nowhere to go' hypothesis, caused by the appearance of additional potential habitat concomitant with the reduction of permafrost with climate warming

publication date

  • 2018