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Climate Change and Plant Diversity in Iran

Logo of the journal Diversity

CMES researcher Amir Naghibi has co-authored an article published in the journal Diversity.

The article "Climate-Change-Driven Shifts in Aegilops tauschii Species Distribution: Implications for Food Security and Ecological Conservation" was co-authored by Shirin Mahmoodi (Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center), Mohammad Jaffar Aghaei (National Plant Gene Bank of Iran), Kourosh Ahmadi (Fars Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center) and Amir Naghibi (CMES).


Climate change has diverse effects on the planet’s environment, including changes and shifts in the distribution and abundance of species. In this paper, we present a robust prediction ensemble algorithm for the current and future species distribution of Aegilops tauschii. Four modeling approaches were trained using various environmental variables (bioclimatic and soil variables) to accurately predict the species distribution for future scenarios. The results showed that GBM and RF demonstrated the most accurate predictions with an Area Under the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) Curve (AUC) of 0.80 and 0.83, respectively. The results of variable importance depicted that the temperature seasonality (bio4) was the most important and effective factor in determining the habitat suitability of Ae. tauschii, followed closely by the precipitation seasonality (bioclimate 15) and the mean temperature of the warmest quarter (bio10). Then, the distribution maps of Ae. tauschii were produced under climate change scenarios for 2050 and 2070. The results showed that Ae. tauschii will lose some of its suitable habitats under climate change and that this loss will be more severe in the east part of the study area. The results of the present study have important implications for ecological conservation as they can assist in identifying critical habitats and inform conservation planning efforts. Our model provides a valuable tool for understanding the potential future distribution of Ae. tauschii and highlights the need for continuous monitoring and protection of this species.

Read the article