Combining future projections of land use scenarios and species distribution models. The case of native tree flora of southern South America.

Prof. Patricio Pliscoff1,2, Mr. Cesar Benavidez2

1Universidad Católica de Chile, Department of Ecology, Santiago, Chile, 2Universidad Católica de Chile, Institute of Geography, Santiago, Chile

One of the most common pitfalls when project range distributions using traditional correlative species distribution models (SDM) under future climate change scenarios is the lack of future projections of land use which can be combined with model’s suitability. The joint analysis between land use scenarios and range projections allow us to obtain more reliable models which reflect not only environmental change but also the potential anthropogenic effects over the territory. These improvements in future range projections are crucial in areas with high rates of land use and land cover change (LUCC) as Central-South Chile a recognised biodiversity hotspot which a historical process of natural land cover transformation. We generated scenarios of land use change for the year 2080 using four IPCC climate scenarios (RCP´s 2.6, 4.5, 6.0 and 8.5) and applied ensemble SDM techniques to calculate range dynamics for 104 native tree species of southern South America and evaluate the differences between climatic suitability only models and climatic suitability plus land use scenarios. Finally, we focus inside protected areas network to analyse whether the difference between trees ranges dynamics made with traditional projections and those which including land use could yield different results regarding climate change vulnerability metrics and protection representativeness of tree species in the study area.


Fondecyt N° 1181677; Secretaria Nacional de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación de Ecuador (SENESCYT).


Assistant Professor Department of Ecology and Institute of Geography of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Member of the academic council of Global Change Center and in charge of biodiversity research line of Center of Atacama Desert. Lecturer of Biogeography course. Advisor Professor of undergraduate, master and doctorate students. Member of the International Biogeographical Society and Society of Conservation Biology. Fellow of the International Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The leading researcher of the Red List of Ecosystem process and co-author of National action plan of Biodiversity and Climate Change for the Ministry of Environment. Author of the official terrestrial ecosystem classification of Chile. The main research lines developed are Ecosystem Classification, Systematic Conservation Planning and Species distribution modelling.

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