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Environmental stratification to model climate change impacts on biodiversity and rubber production in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China

Zomer, Robert J. and Trabucco, Antonio and Wang, Mingcheng and Lang, Rong and Chen, Huafang and Metzger, Marc J. and Smajgl, Alex and Beckschäfer, Philip and Xu, Jianchu (2014) Environmental stratification to model climate change impacts on biodiversity and rubber production in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China. Biological Conservation, Vol. 170 , p. 264-273. eISSN 1873-2917. Article.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.11.028

Abstract

An analysis and multi-model approach, based on a statistically derived Global Environmental Stratification (GEnS) and using a downscaled ensemble (n = 63) of CIMP5 Earth System Models applied across four representative concentration pathways (RCP), has been used to project the impact of climate change on spatial distribution of bioclimatic zones and ecosystems within the biodiverse rich Xishuangbanna Prefecture, Yunnan Province, by the year 2050. Four bioclimatic zones and 9 strata were identified, overlaid with protected areas, and associated with on-going landuse change, i.e. a rapid increase in rubber plantation from 8% to 22% of total area between 2002 and 2010. Significant changes in the areal extent and distribution of all zones and strata are projected, with an averaged mean annual temperature increase ranging from 1.6 °C to 2.4 °C. By 2050, there are significant geographical shifts in all identified strata, with an average upward shift of 309 m of elevation for all strata. On average, more than 75% of Xishuangbanna is predicted to shift to a different zone, with 96% shifting to a different stratum. The area conducive to rubber plantations, currently limited by climatic conditions, expands to nearly 75% of the total area. Climatic change potentially removes the bioclimatic barriers to further expansion of rubber plantations within the area and increases pressure on remaining biodiversity both within and outside of protected areas. The analysis provides the basis for understanding potential impacts of changing bioclimatic conditions on managed and unmanaged ecosystems and landuse change trends, within the context of ongoing rapid change and agricultural expansion in the area. Current efforts to conserve forests, biodiversity and traditional landuse systems require an improved understanding of both the projected climatic changes and the responses of biodiversity and traditional agricultural systems to changing conditions.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:9771
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Climate change, bioclimatic stratification, biodiversity conservation, Himalaya
Subjects:Area 07 - Scienze agrarie e veterinarie > AGR/03 Arboricoltura generale e coltivazioni arboree
Divisions:002 Altri enti e centri di ricerca del Nord Sardegna > CMCC-EuroMediterranean Center for Climate Change, Sassari
Publisher:Elsevier
eISSN:1873-2917
Deposited On:30 Apr 2014 12:17

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