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Climate models predict a divergent future for the medicinal tree Boswellia serrata Roxb. in India


Climate models predict a divergent future for the medicinal tree Boswellia serrata Roxb. in India

Rajpoot, Radha, Adhikari, Dibyendu, Verma, Satyam, Saikia, Purabi, Kumar, Amit, Grant, Kyle Raymond, Dayanandan, Arun, Kumar, Ashwani, Khare, Pramod Kumar and Khan, Mohammed Latif (2020) Climate models predict a divergent future for the medicinal tree Boswellia serrata Roxb. in India. Global Ecology and Conservation, 23 . e01040. ISSN 23519894

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01040


Predicting the distribution of future climatically suitable habitat areas is crucial for the long-term success of species conservation and management plans. However, generating accurate predictions may be difficult as the assumptions and variables used in the construction of different climate scenarios may result in divergent trajectories of change. Nevertheless, generating species distribution models under multiple scenarios is helpful in selecting an optimal solution for practical applications. In this study, we compare the current distribution of climatically suitable areas of a threatened medicinally important tree, Boswellia serrata Roxb. in India with its distribution in the year 2050 modeled using two climate change scenarios - IPSL-CM5A-LR and NIMR-HADGEM2-AO - each represented by four representative concentration pathways (RCPs). Maximum entropy modeling with 19 bioclimatic variables was used to construct the climatic niche of B. serrata for predictions of present and future climatically suitable areas within India. The study revealed that annual mean temperature, mean temperature of wettest quarter and driest quarter, precipitation seasonality, and precipitation of wettest quarter potentially influence the distribution of the species. After thresholding, the model showed that ∼21.95% of the geographical area in India is presently climatically suitable for the species. The IPSL-CM5A-LR and NIMR-HADGEM2-AO climate models revealed contrasting distribution scenarios of climatically suitable areas in India. However, irrespective of these climate models, the four RCPs predict a consistent decrease in suitable area with increases in climatic harshness. Substantial area in peninsular India is expected to lose climatic suitability in 2050, though new areas are also predicted to become climatically suitable. We suggest long-term conservation strategies for B. serrata be prioritized within future areas that are projected to retain climatic suitability.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Article
Authors:Rajpoot, Radha and Adhikari, Dibyendu and Verma, Satyam and Saikia, Purabi and Kumar, Amit and Grant, Kyle Raymond and Dayanandan, Arun and Kumar, Ashwani and Khare, Pramod Kumar and Khan, Mohammed Latif
Journal or Publication:Global Ecology and Conservation
  • Concordia Open Access Author Fund
  • Department of Biotechnology, Government of India (grant number No. BT/PR12899/NDB/39/506/2015 dt. 20/06/2017)
  • Shastri Mobility Program Award by Shastri Indo Canadian Institute, MHRD New Delhi, India
  • Shastri Research Student Fellowship by SICI, MHRD, New Delhi, India
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01040
Keywords:Boswellia serrata, Climate change scenarios, Maxent model, Distribution potential areas
ID Code:986942
Deposited On:02 Dec 2020 19:34
Last Modified:02 Dec 2020 19:34


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