Zomer, Robert J. and Xu , Jianchu and Wang , Mingcheng and Trabucco, Antonio and Li , Zhuoqing (2015) Projected impact of climate change on the effectiveness of the existing protected area network for biodiversity conservation within Yunnan Province, China. Biological Conservation, Vol. 184 , p. 335-345. ISSN 0006-3207. Article.
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Climate change is projected to impact on biodiversity conservation and the effectiveness of the existing protected area network in biologically rich Yunnan Province of southwestern China. A statistically derived bioclimatic stratification is used to analyze projected bioclimatic conditions across Yunnan by the year 2050. The multi-model approach is based on an ensemble of CIMP5 Earth System Models, downscaled to a set of 1 km2 resolution climate projections (n = 63), covering four representative concentration pathways (RCP). Nine bioclimatic zones, composed of 33 strata, are currently found within Yunnan. By 2050, the mean elevation of these zones is projected to shift upwards by an average of 269 m, with large increases in area of the warmer zones, and decreases in the colder, higher elevation zones. Temperate and alpine areas of high biodiversity value are at risk. Displacement in the geographic distribution of bioclimatic conditions is likely to have substantial impact across all bioclimatic zones, vegetation types, and habitats currently found in Yunnan. On average, across all RCPs, 45% of the total combined area of the protected area network will shift to a completely different zone, with 83% shifting to a different strata. The great majority of protected area will experience substantially changed, spatially shifted, and novel bioclimatic conditions by 2050. The spatial displacement and upwards shifting of bioclimatic conditions indicates a prolonged period of significant ecological perturbation, which will have a major impact upon the conservation effectiveness of the established protected area network, and other conservation efforts across Yunnan.
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