Model-Based Assessment of Priority Protected Areas: A case Study on Fraxinus mandshurica in China
Jizhong Wan1, Chunjing Wang1, Jinghua Yu1, Siming Nie1, Shijie Han2, Lihua Wang2, Juzhao Liu1, Yuangang Zu1
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1State Engineering Laboratory of Bio-Resource Eco-Utilization (Heilongjiang),
Northeast Forestry University, Harbin City, Heilongjiang 150040, China
2Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Shenyang City, Liaoning 110016, China
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2015;24(2):725–733
Climate change has greatly affected the natural habitats of wild plants, especially vulnerable species. However, methods to properly assess priority protected areas (PPAs) that consider climate change have not been established. The distribution of Fraxinus mandshurica in northeast China was assessed, and our goal was to develop model-based strategies for the assessment of PPAs in consideration of climate change. To achieve this goal, we mapped the current and future suitable habitat distributions of F. mandshurica and planned PPAs based on 4 field surveys in northeast China. The models used in this study included a species distribution model (Maxent), systematic conservation planning model (Zonation), and geographic information system (ArcGIS 10.0). To promote sustainable development, the current and future suitable habitats of F. mandshurica must be integrated into the assessment of PPAs; however, the conservation areas of F. mandshurica in existing nature reserves cannot realize the conservation criterion of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). In the eastern and northeastern regions of northeast China, the suitable habitats are predicted to migrate slightly northwards in the future. The methods used in this study are adequate for the assessment of PPAs and may provide a reference for the conservation and management of vulnerable plants.