Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol 26, Aug Suppl. Issue, 2020; Page No.(145-155)

IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON POTENTIAL DISPERSAL OF PAEONIAOBOVATA (PAEONIACEAE), A CRITICALLY ENDANGERED MEDICINAL PLANT OF SOUTH KOREA

Ja-Young Jeon, Pradeep Adhikari and Changwon Seo

Abstract

In recent years, global climate change has been considered a major threat to biodiversity, particularly to high-elevation plants. Paeonia obovata is a critically endangered medicinal plant that occurs at high altitudes and latitudes. In this study, the maximum entropy (Max Ent) and Mig Clim models were used to predict the potential dispersal of P. obovata in South Korea in relation to current and future climate change scenarios representative concentration pathways (RCP) 4.5 and RCP 8.5. Based on the model predictions, the current suitable habitat of P. obovata is approximately 15,397 km2 and is estimated to decline substantially by as much as 67.86%, 84.90%, and 98.63% by 2030, 2050, and 2080, respectively, under a dispersal limitation of 10 km/year. The model simulations indicated that the suitable habitat of P. obovata would significantly decrease and would almost disappear after 2080. Based on our findings, we urge implementation of the necessary conservation activities, including insitu and exsitu conservation, particularly focusing on northern and northern eastern regions of the country.

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