Predicting the impacts of climate change on the potential distribution of major native non-food bioenergy plants in China

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Abstract

© 2014 Wang et al. Planting non-food bioenergy crops on marginal lands is an alternative bioenergy development solution in China. Native non-food bioenergy plants are also considered to be a wise choice to reduce the threat of invasive plants. In this study, the impacts of climate change (a consensus of IPCC scenarios A2a for 2080) on the potential distribution of nine non-food bioenergy plants native to China (viz., Pistacia chinensis, Cornus wilsoniana, Xanthoceras sorbifolia, Vernicia fordii, Sapium sebiferum, Miscanthus sinensis, M. floridulus, M. sacchariflorus and Arundo donax) were analyzed using a MaxEnt species distribution model. The suitable habitats of the nine non-food plants were distributed in the regions east of the Mongolian Plateau and the Tibetan Plateau, where the arable land is primarily used for food production. Thus, the large-scale cultivation of those plants for energy production will have to rely on the marginal lands. The variables of "precipitation of the warmest quarter" and "annual mean temperature" were the most important bioclimatic variables for most of the nine plants according to the MaxEnt modeling results. Global warming in coming decades may result in a decrease in the extent of suitable habitat in the tropics but will have little effect on the total distribution area of each plant. The results indicated that it will be possible to grow these plants on marginal lands within these areas in the future. This work should be beneficial for the domestication and cultivation of those bioenergy plants and should facilitate land-use planning for bioenergy crops in China. Copyright:

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Wang, W., Tang, X., Zhu, Q., Pan, K., Hu, Q., He, M., & Li, J. (2014). Predicting the impacts of climate change on the potential distribution of major native non-food bioenergy plants in China. PLoS ONE, 9(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0111587

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