Distribution and Protection of Chinese Beech under the Background of Climate Change
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School of Economics, Southwest Minzu University, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610041, China
Engineering Research Center for Forest and Grassland Disaster Prevention and Reduction, Mianyang normal university, Mianyang, Sichuan, 621000, China
College of Geography and Environment Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou, Gansu, 730070, China
Jinyao Hu   

Engineering Research Center for Forest and Grassland Disaster Prevention and Reduction, Mianyang normal university, China
Submission date: 2021-07-15
Final revision date: 2021-10-30
Acceptance date: 2021-11-11
Online publication date: 2022-02-24
Publication date: 2022-04-06
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2022;31(3):2341–2354
The biodiversity crisis caused by global warming is becoming more and more serious. Thus, many species are facing the crisis of survival, and some species are even on the verge of extinction. To scientifically evaluate the impact of global warming on the distribution, management and protection of Chinese Beech, the habitat suitability of 7 Chinese Beech species was simulated based on 853 literature distribution sites and 11 environmental factors under the current, 2070 RCP2.6 and 2070 RCP8.5 climate conditions and evaluated using ArcGIS 10.2 technology and the MaxEnt model. The results showed that (1) three environmental factors, namely, Precipitation of the Driest Quarter, Minimum Temperature of the Coldest Month and Mean Diurnal Range, were the key factors that influencing the distribution of Chinese Beech; (2) the total current area of suitable habitat of Chinese Beech was about 78615.60 km2, and only about 9527.36 km2 was located in protected areas (12.12%); (3) with the continuous warming of the climate, the suitable habitat of Chinese Beech could lose up to 59.24%, and the protected area would be decreasing continuously. Under the best and the most extreme climate scenarios for 2070, the suitable habitat area of Chinese Beech was reduced by 33386.90 km2 and 46573.50 km2, respectively, and the protected area decreased by 2,362.22 km2 and 5,056.40 km2, respectively. (4) The highly suitable habitat was projected to move the northwest and high altitude areas. Consequently, the protection of Chinese Beech is urgently required.