loading page

Tolerance niche expansion and potential distribution prediction during Asian openbill dispersal
  • Yu Lei,
  • Qiang Liu
Yu Lei
Southwest Forestry University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Qiang Liu
National Plateau Wetlands Research Center
Author Profile


Aim: Understanding the tolerance niches of species plays an important role in studying the mechanisms of species dispersal and invasion. Taking the rapid dispersal bird, Asian openbill (Anastomus oscitans), as a model species, we identified ecological niche changes in the process of its dispersal, explored the potential distribution, and evaluated population evolution trends. Location: East Asia, South Asia, Australia. Methods: We used the ecological niche models Niche A and ecospat to compare the spatiotemporal change in the observed niche of Asian openbill, divided into original native, China, Malay Peninsula, and present distributions. Moreover, several models were generated using a biomod2 ensemble modeling framework to predict the trends and potential distribution of species. Results: The observed niche of Asian openbill was stable between the original native and present distributions. The Malay Peninsula population represented significant niche conservatism and propagable climate conditions. The rate of niche expansion reached 77.61% among the population in China, which was able to tolerate colder temperatures than the native population. Models indicated that Asian openbill dispersal was more suitable at low latitudes. According to the best performing model, Random Forest, the distribution probabilities of the China and Malay Peninsula populations were much higher than random expectations. Main conclusions: We concluded that the novel tolerance niche during northward dispersal exceeded the native observed niche, which should not be neglected because of the cold temperature tolerance for the evolution of the species in the future. In addition, northward and southward dispersal corridors have opened and the possibility of reproduction in the southward population was higher than the northward population. Asian openbill dispersal behavior will continue both north and south, but multiple factors affect dispersal rate and durability, and the model results require more fundamental data on the source and new southern populations.