Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2020, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (2): 140-149.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.02.002

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Coupling the Occurrence of Correlative Plant Species to Predict the Habitat Suitability for Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus) under Climate Change: A Case Study in the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River

XIANG Ling1, *, GAO Xiang2, 3, PENG Yuhui2, 3, LIANG Jie2, 3   

  1. 1. Faculty of Land Management, Yunnan Land and Resources Vocational College, Kunming 652501, China;
    2. College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China;
    3. Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control, Hunan University, Ministry of Education, Changsha 410082, China
  • Received:2019-12-07 Accepted:2020-02-18 Online:2020-03-30 Published:2020-05-30
  • Contact: XIANG Ling, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    The National Natural Science Foundation of China (51679082, 51979101, 51479072); The Hunan Science & Technology Innovation Program (2018RS3037); The Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province (2019JJ20002).

Abstract: Climate change and human activities influence species biodiversity by altering their habitats. This paper quantitatively analyzed the effects of climate change on a migratory bird. The Lesser White-fronted Goose (LWfG), a species which migrates via the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River region, is an herbivorous species of high ecological value. It is an endangered species threatened by climate change and human activities, so comprehensive information about its distribution is required. To assess the effectiveness of conservation of the LWfG under climate change, both climate variables and human activities are often used to predict the potential changes in the distribution and habitat suitability for LWfG. In this work, the current scenario and the Global Circulation Models (GCMs) climate scenarios were used to simulate the future distribution of the species. However, besides climate change and human activities, the spatial pattern of plants surrounding the wetland is also known to be closely related to the distribution of LWfG. Therefore, the distribution model results of six plant species related to LWfG’s diet selection were used as environment variables to reflect the changes of suitable LWfG habitat. These environmental variables significantly improved the model’s performance for LWfG, since the birds were clearly influenced by the plant distribution factors. Meanwhile, the suitable habitat area decreases by 2070 in GCM models under two representative concentration pathways scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5). More appropriate management and conservation policies should be taken to adapt to future climate change. These adjustments include modifications of the size, shape and use of the conservation area for this species.

Key words: habitat suitability modeling, climate change, Maxent, Lesser White-fronted Goose, MODIS, the Yangtze River