Impacts of climate change on changes in species distributions of Thailand’s forest birds assemblage

Dr Nantida Sutummawong1, Prof. Stephen Williams2, Mr. Wachara Sanaunsombat3

1Thaksin University, Phatthalung, Thailand, 2James Cook University, Townsville, Australia, 3National Science Museum Thailand, Pathum Thani, Thailand


Projected climate change over the next 50 years, is predicted to lead to significant range contractions in more than two thirds of 304 species of forest birds across the whole of Thailand.  Within different ecological subgroups of the assemblage defined by habitat preferences, feeding guild, elevational limits, biogeographic regions and migratory type. Maximum Entropy Algorithm (MaxEnt) was employed to project future species distributions based on presence-only data of birds for each of five global circulation models and four representative concentration pathways (RCPs) scenarios of future climate.

There were significant differences in the mean predicted response of species across the species in all ecological subgroups. Each subgroup shows an average decline in range size of about 40% with some outlier species that increased. Lowland species consistently showed little decline while mid elevation and upland species consistently show a severe decline in range size of more than 50%. All of the species groups defined by migratory type showed a significant estimated decline except for the migratory species, which on average increased their range size. Not surprisingly, impacts are greatest in high elevation assemblages across Thailand. These results suggest that mitigation is vitally important in reducing impacts on Thailand amazing biodiversity and that an extended protected area network of highland forests will be critical in order to minimize the impacts of climate change.


Dr.Nantida Sutummawong is a lecturer from Department of Biological and Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Thaksin University, Phatthalung Campus, THAILAND. She graduated BSc and MSc on Wildlife biology from Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Thailand. Then she graduated PhD on Tropical biodiversity and climate change from James Cook University, AUSTRALIA in 2017. She is currently focusing to work on Impacts, Mitigation, and Adaptation on Climate change to flora and fauna of Thailand.

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Species responses to climate change is a rapidly evolving research field, however, much of our progress is being made in independent research areas: e.g. understanding the process vs responding to the implications, terrestrial vs marine ecosystems, global meta-analyses vs in depth species-specific approaches. This interdisciplinary conference develops connections between these parallel streams, and across temporal and spatial scales.

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