Background: The impact of climate change on selected plant species from the hyper-arid landscape of United Arab Emirates (UAE) was assessed through modeling of their habitat suitability and distribution. Calotropis procera, Prosopis cineraria and Ziziphus spina-christi were used for this study. The specific objectives of this study were to identify the current and future (for 2050s and 2070s) suitable habitats distribution using MaxEnt, an Ecological Envelope Model. Methods: The adopted method consists of extraction of current and future bioclimatic variables together with their land use cover and elevation for the study area. MaxEnt species distribution model was then used to simulate the distribution of the selected species. The projections are simulated for the current date, the 2050s and 2070s using Community Climate System Model version 4 with representative concentration pathway RCP4.5. Results: The current distribution model of all three species evolved with a high suitable habitat towards the north eastern part of the country. For C. procera, an area of 1775 km2 is modeled under highly suitable habitat for the current year, while it is expected to increase for both 2050s and 2070s. The current high suitability of P. cinararia was around an area of 1335 km2 and the future projection revealed an increase of high suitability habitats. Z. spina-christi showed a potential area of 5083 km2 under high suitability and it might increase in the future. Conclusions: Precipitation of coldest quarter (BIO19) had the maximum contribution for all the three species under investigation.
- Maxent model
- Niche assessment
- Species distribution models
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)