Background: Detailed knowledge of a species' autecology as well as information on the availability of suitable habitats and the impacts of climate change on the species and its habitat are requirements for adequate conservation planning. For this purpose, species distribution modelling has been suggested as an effective tool to assess the potential geographic distributions of species under different climate scenarios. Aims: The aim of this study was to generate suitability maps and predictive maps based on scenarios of climate change to identify areas with the most value for conservation for the western Iberian endemics Silene acutifolia, S. foetida subsp. foetida and S. foetida subsp. gayana. Methods: Maxent software was used to model and predict the distribution of the species based on environmental variables under climate change scenarios. Results: Our analysis indicated that the models performed well, predicting with high accuracy the current distributions of the species. Under two scenarios of increasing CO2, the species were predicted to be susceptible to a major reduction of suitable habitat; both S. foetida subspecies were shown to be at risk of extinction. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the inclusion of S. foetida in national conservation and long-term monitoring programmes must be considered.
Type (Professor's evaluation):
No. of pages: