Evidence for climate-induced range shift in Brachystegia (miombo) woodland.

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dc.contributor.author Pienaar, B.
dc.contributor.author Thompson, D.I.
dc.contributor.author Erasmus, B.F.N.
dc.contributor.author Hill, T.R.
dc.contributor.author Witkowski, E.T.F.
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-22T14:05:05Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-22T14:05:05Z
dc.date.issued 2015-07
dc.identifier.citation Pienaar, B. et al. 2015. Evidence for climate-induced range shift in Brachystegia (miombo) woodland.South African Journal of Science 111 (7/8), pp. 1-9. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0038-2353 (Print)
dc.identifier.issn 1996-7489 (Online)
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/21087
dc.description.abstract Brachystegia spiciformis Benth. is the dominant component of miombo, the sub-tropical woodlands which cover 2.7 million km2 of south-central Africa and which is coincident with the largest regional centre of endemism in Africa. However, pollen records from the genus Brachystegia suggest that miombo has experienced rapid range retraction (∼450 km) from its southernmost distributional limit over the past 6000 years. This abrupt biological response created an isolated (by ∼200 km) and incomparable relict at the trailing population edge in northeast South Africa. These changes in miombo population dynamics may have been triggered by minor natural shifts in temperature and moisture regimes. If so, B. spiciformis is likely to be especially responsive to present and future anthropogenic climate change. This rare situation offers a unique opportunity to investigate climatic determinants of range shift at the trailing edge of a savanna species. A niche modelling approach was used to produce present-day and select future B. spiciformis woodland ecological niche models. In keeping with recent historical range shifts, further ecological niche retraction of between 30.6% and 47.3% of the continuous miombo woodland in Zimbabwe and southern Mozambique is predicted by 2050. Persistence of the existing relict under future climate change is plausible, but range expansion to fragmented refugia in northeast South Africa is unlikely. As Brachystegia woodland and associated biota form crucial socio-economic and biodiversity components of savannas in southern Africa, their predicted further range retraction is of concern. en_ZA
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) en_ZA
dc.rights © 2015. The Author(s). Published under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence. en_ZA
dc.subject Brachystegia spiciformis en_ZA
dc.subject Climate change en_ZA
dc.subject Ecological niche model en_ZA
dc.subject Maxent en_ZA
dc.subject Refugia en_ZA
dc.title Evidence for climate-induced range shift in Brachystegia (miombo) woodland. en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA
dc.journal.volume 111 en_ZA
dc.journal.title South African Journal of Science en_ZA
dc.description.librarian SP2016 en_ZA
dc.citation.doi 10.17159/sajs.2015/20140280 en_ZA
dc.citation.issue 7/8 en_ZA


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