Impact of climate change on potential distribution of Chinese caterpillar fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) in Nepal Himalaya

Shrestha, Uttam Babu and Bawa, Kamaljit S. (2014) Impact of climate change on potential distribution of Chinese caterpillar fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) in Nepal Himalaya. PLoS One, 9 (9). e106405.

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Climate change has already impacted ecosystems and species and substantial impacts of climate change in the future are expected. Species distribution modeling is widely used to map the current potential distribution of species as well as to model the impact of future climate change on distribution of species. Mapping current distribution is useful for conservation planning and understanding the change in distribution impacted by climate change is important for mitigation of future biodiversity losses. However, the current distribution of Chinese caterpillar fungus, a flagship species of the Himalaya with very high economic value, is unknown. Nor do we know the potential changes in suitable habitat of Chinese caterpillar fungus caused by future climate change. We used MaxEnt modeling to predict current distribution and changes in the future distributions of Chinese caterpillar fungus in three future climate change trajectories based on representative concentration pathways (RCPs: RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5, and RCP 6.0) in three different time periods (2030, 2050, and
2070) using species occurrence points, bioclimatic variables, and altitude. About 6.02% (8,989 km2) area of the Nepal Himalaya is suitable for Chinese caterpillar fungus habitat. Our model showed that across all future climate change trajectories over three different time periods, the area of predicted suitable habitat of Chinese caterpillar fungus would expand, with 0.11–4.87% expansion over current suitable habitat. Depending upon the representative concentration pathways, we observed both increase and decrease in average elevation of the suitable habitat range of the species.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright: © 2014 Shrestha, Bawa. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2014 11:36
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2018 00:44
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate change, Himalayas, Nepal, caterpillar fungus
Fields of Research (2008): 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
06 Biological Sciences > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960810 Mountain and High Country Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
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