BEIJING, December 15, Xinhua -- Chinese scientists have revealed how the distribution of abies trees changed in the Quaternary glacial period, providing scientific guidance for the protection of the endangered species against climate change.
As an ancient and typical coniferous species living in southwest China, abies is a good example to study the impact of the ongoing climate changes, which are similar to those in the Quaternary period, on biodiversity in this area.
Researchers from the Chengdu Institute of Biology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences rebuilt the distribution patterns in different periods of four abies taxa to know how they migrated in response to adverse climate.
They revealed that seasonal fluctuation of temperature and rainfall, rather than average annual temperature and rainfall, was one of the factors that determined the four taxa's distribution, which means that extreme climate events are major threats to the species.
According to the distribution patterns of abies showed in the study, the researchers suggested that enough corridors should be conserved in Hengduan mountains and the Three Parallel Rivers to protect biodiversity against climate change.
The study was published in the journal Ecology and Evolution.