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Distributional responses to climate change for tree species of three commonly used Ban-feng-he medicinal plants endemic to southern China
  • Wanwan Li,
  • Yun Zhou
Wanwan Li
Shaanxi Normal University

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Yun Zhou
Guangxi Medical University
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Abstract

Semiliquidambar cathayensis roots were the original Ban-feng-he medicinal plant, with a long history of clinical use as traditional ethnic medicine. Global warming has increased the vulnerability of plants, and S. cathayensis is now endemic to southern China and treated as a grade-2 protected plant in China. Furthermore, the roots of Dendropanax dentiger and Pterospermum heterophyllum, also mainly distributed in southern China, have been often used as a substitute for Ban-feng-he. Predicting the impact of climate change on the distribution of S. cathayensis, D. dentiger, and P. heterophyllum is crucial for their protection and the sustainable use of resources. In this study, we explored how the distribution of the three commonly used original Ban-feng-he medicinal plants endemic to southern China may respond to climate change. We used MaxEnt to model the potential geographic distribution of S. cathayensis, D. dentiger, and P. heterophyllum in the past (Last Glacial Maximum and mid-Holocene), current (1950–1990), and future (2050 and 2070), using environmental variables. Our modeling predicts that the distribution of stable, suitable regions will contract under the RCR4. 5 and RCP8. 5 scenarios. Eastern and southern China appear to be stable areas with suitable habitats, which should be considered future in situ conservation areas for these plants in response to climate change. Our study provides a theoretical basis for establishing genetic resource protection measures, constructing core germplasm resources of Ban-feng-he plants, and a realistic reference for cultivating plants to be used in this ethnodrug for the local industry.