Predicting the impact of climate change on the distribution of two threatened Himalayan medicinal plants of Liliaceae in Nepal uri icon

abstract

  • Predicting the potential distribution of medicinal plants in response to climate change is essential for their conservation and management. Contributing to the management program, this study aimed to predict the distribution of two threatened medicinal plants, Fritillaria cirrhosa and Lilium nepalense. The location of focal species gathered from herbarium specimen housed in different herbaria and online databases were geo-referenced and checked for spatial autocorrelation. The predictive environmental variables were selected, and MaxEnt software was used to model the current and future distributions of focal species. Four Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) trajectories of the BCC-CSM1.1 model were used as the future (2050) projection layer. The MaxEnt modelling delineated the potential distribution of F. cirrhosa and L. nepalense. The current suitability is projected towards Central and Eastern Hilly/Mountainous regions. Both species gain maximum suitability in RCP 4.5 which decline towards other trajectories for L. nepalense. Overall, both the focal species shift towards the north-west, losing their potential habitat in hilly and lower mountainous regions by 2050 across all trajectories. Our results highlight the impact of future climate change on two threatened and valuable species. The results can be further useful to initiate farming of these medicinally and economically important species based on climatically suitable zone and for designing a germplasm conservation strategy. © 2017, Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2017