Climate change impact on endangered cloud forest tree species in Mexico

Daniel Jiménez-García, A. T. Peterson


Ecological niche models have seen intensive exploration as a tool in biodiversity conservation and evaluation of areas for designing protected natural areas systems, including projections of potential distributions under future conditions. Cloud forest is the most endangered ecosystem in Mexico, and yet ranks high in terms of diversity and endemism. This study focuses on 12 endangered and range-restricted tree species in Mexican cloud forests, exploring patterns of distribution and diversity under 2 future emissions scenarios (representative concentration pathways 4.5 and 8.5) as anticipated by 20 general circulation models. Our results indicate a likely strong reduction in species’ distributional areas and —consequently— species diversity manifested in different cloud forest patches across the country. The genus Quercus resulted the most sensitive to climate change. We identified cloud forest patches that are most vulnerable to climate change effects, which can and should focus priorities for protection of this ecosystem, particularly in the Sierra Madre Oriental, where cloud forest is presently lacking any protection.

Palabras clave

.Ecological niche model; Diversity; Climatic change; Threatened species

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Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, Año 3, No. 12, enero-marzo 2014, es una publicación trimestral editada por la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Delegación Coyoacán, C.P. 04510, Ciudad de México, a través del Instituto de Biología, Tercer Circuito Universitario s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Col. Copilco, Del. Coyoacán, C.P. 04510, Ciudad de México, Tel. (55)56229164,, responsable: Dr. Fernando Álvarez Noguera. Reserva de Derechos al uso Exclusivo No. 04-2013-092709142100-203, ISSN: 2007-8706, ambos otorgados por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor, Responsable de la última actualización de este número, Instituto de Biología, UNAM, Dr. Fernando Álvarez Noguera, Tercer Circuito Universitario s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Col. Copilco, Del. Coyoacán, C.P. 04510, Ciudad de México, fecha de la última modificación: 25 de agosto de 2016.

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