Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220

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Published online December 27, 2018
https://doi.org/10.1186/s41610-018-0095-y

Journal of Ecology and Environment (2018) 42:36

© The Ecological Society of Korea.

Potential impact of climate change on the species richness of subalpine plant species in the mountain national parks of South Korea

Pradeep Adhikari1, Man-Seok Shin1, Ja-Young Jeon1, Hyun Woo Kim1, Seungbum Hong1 and Changwan Seo1

National Institute of Ecology, Seocheon, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:Changwan Seo

Received: October 8, 2018; Accepted: November 30, 2018

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Abstract

Background

Subalpine ecosystems at high altitudes and latitudes are particularly sensitive to climate change. In South Korea, the prediction of the species richness of subalpine plant species under future climate change is not well studied. Thus, this study aims to assess the potential impact of climate change on species richness of subalpine plant species (14 species) in the 17 mountain national parks (MNPs) of South Korea under climate change scenarios’ representative concentration pathways (RCP) 4.5 and RCP 8.5 using maximum entropy (MaxEnt) and Migclim for the years 2050 and 2070.>

Results

Altogether, 723 species occurrence points of 14 species and six selected variables were used in modeling. The models developed for all species showed excellent performance (AUC > 0.89 and TSS > 0.70). The results predicted a significant loss of species richness in all MNPs. Under RCP 4.5, the range of reduction was predicted to be 15.38–94.02% by 2050 and 21.42–96.64% by 2070. Similarly, under RCP 8.5, it will decline 15.38–97.9% by 2050 and 23.07–100% by 2070. The reduction was relatively high in the MNPs located in the central regions (Songnisan and Gyeryongsan), eastern region (Juwangsan), and southern regions (Mudeungsan, Wolchulsan, Hallasan, and Jirisan) compared to the northern and northeastern regions (Odaesan, Seoraksan, Chiaksan, and Taebaeksan).>

Conclusions

This result indicates that the MNPs at low altitudes and latitudes have a large effect on the climate change in subalpine plant species. This study suggested that subalpine species are highly threatened due to climate change and that immediate actions are required to conserve subalpine species and to minimize the effect of climate change.

Keywords: Climate change, Mountain national park, Species distribution model, Species richness, Subalpine species

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Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220