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Forecasting cloud forest in eastern and southern Mexico conservation insights under future climate change scenarios

Forecasting cloud forest in eastern and southern Mexico conservation insights under future climate change scenarios

Biodiversity and Conservation 21(10): 2671-2690

Assuming that co-distributed species are exposed to similar environmental conditions, ecological niche models (ENMs) of cloud forest species were developed to study how climate change could affect the distribution of cloud forest in eastern and southern Mexico for the year 25. Using ENM-based predictions and climatic data for IPCC climate change A2 and B2 scenarios, we observed 54 76% reduction of the cloud forest, mainly in the northern region of its current range (Sierra Madre Oriental) and the Pacific slope of Chiapas. With predicted 25 climate change, cloud forest in the Los Tuxtlas region and El Cielo Biosphere Reserve may face a serious threat of extinction due to the observed upward migration to higher elevations. Our results add to recent studies detecting negative impacts of climate change in montane forests, but the negative impacts of climate change might be exacerbated by current environmental changes in the region. The integration of ecological-niche characteristics of cloud forest in conjunction with projections of extreme climate scenarios constitute a suitable tool to define appropriate areas in which proactive conservation and management strategies should be focused.

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Accession: 036513064

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DOI: 10.1007/s10531-012-0327-x

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