Climate change affects the species spatio-temporal distribution deeply. However, how climate affects the spatio-temporal distribution pattern of related species on the large scale remains largely unclear. Here, we selected two closely related species in Taxus genus Taxus chinensis and Taxus mairei to explore their distribution pattern. Four environmental variables were employed to simulate the distribution patterns using the optimized Maxent model. The results showed that the highly suitable area of T. chinensis and T. mairei in current period was 1.964×105km2 and 3.074×105km2, respectively. The distribution area of T. chinensis was smaller than that of T. mairei in different periods. Temperature and precipitation were the main climate factors that determined the potential distribution of the two species. The centroids of T. chinensis and T. mairei were in Sichuan and Hunan province in current period, respectively. In the future, the centroid migration direction of two species was almost opposite. T. chinensis would shift towards southwest, while T. mairei towards northeast. Our results revealed that the average elevation distribution of T. chinensis was higher than that of T. mairei. This study sheds new insights into the habitat preference and limiting environment factors of the two related species and provides a valuable reference for the conservation of these two endangered species.
Climate change is considered to affect the species distribution deeply in time and space. Knowledge of how plant distribution responded to climate change may help us know their evolutionary history and predict ongoing environmental changes. Elevational range shifts of species in response to climate change is a common phenomenon in mountains, especially for the closely related species in sympatric. Here, we selected Taxus chinensis and Taxus mairei to explore this issue. Four types of environmental variables were used to simulate the distribution patterns, under the historical climate and future climate change scenarios, with the optimization Maxent model. We found that elevational distribution of two species has significant differences. The distribution of T. chinensis was higher than that of T. mairei. The centroid of T. chinensis and T. mairei were in Sichuan and Hunan province, respectively. Temperature and precipitation were the main factors that determine the potential distribution of the two species, and the suitable distribution area of T. chinensis was lower than T. mairei. In the future, the direction of centroid migration of two species was almost opposite, T. chinensis will shift southwest while T. mairei go northeast. Our results not only provided an insight to discriminate two sympatric species in subtropical and warm temperature zones, but also gave us an important reference for the conservation of these valuable endangered species.