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9 March 2023 Maxent Modeling for Predicting Habitat Suitability and Potential Distribution of Plateau Pika (Ochotona curzoniae) on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China
Rui Hua, Limin Hua, Zhuangsheng Tang, Rui Dong, Daerhan Bao, Guohui Ye, Maocao La, Wenqian Sun, Zhiying Zhang, Lei Wang, Longmin Dong, Bin Cai, Bin Chu, Yuanyuan Hao
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Abstract

The plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) is a keystone species in the alpine rangeland ecosystem on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP). However, it has been considered a pest because these mammals dig holes and make bare patches, which reduces grassland productivity. Accordingly, there is a trade-off required between biodiversity conservation and pest management. Habitat assessment is one of the critical approaches in small mammal management and protection. Although a few papers have reported the distribution of plateau pika and predicted its potential distribution under climate change at local scales in some areas, little is known about the synergistic effect of climate change and human disturbance on the wider distribution of this mammal on the QTP. In this study, we recorded 219 points of plateau pika presence on the QTP via Global Positioning System and used the Maxent model to predict potential suitable habitats. The results indicated that, under the current climate, the potential distribution of plateau pika is mainly located in southern Gansu Province, eastern Qinghai Province, and northwestern Sichuan Province, accounting for 4.44% of the total area of the QTP. The most important factors in defining habitat suitability and limiting the distribution of plateau pika include normalized difference vegetation index (29.1%), human footprint (21.6%), seasonal precipitation (11.2%), and elevation (7.8%). In the future, in the 2030s and 2050s, the total area of suitable habitat on the QTP is projected to decrease, while the habitable region in northwest Sichuan and eastern Qinghai will likely increase.

© 2022 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Rui Hua, Limin Hua, Zhuangsheng Tang, Rui Dong, Daerhan Bao, Guohui Ye, Maocao La, Wenqian Sun, Zhiying Zhang, Lei Wang, Longmin Dong, Bin Cai, Bin Chu, and Yuanyuan Hao "Maxent Modeling for Predicting Habitat Suitability and Potential Distribution of Plateau Pika (Ochotona curzoniae) on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China," Rangeland Ecology and Management 87(1), 34-43, (9 March 2023). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2022.11.010
Received: 23 April 2022; Accepted: 28 November 2022; Published: 9 March 2023
KEYWORDS
alpine rangeland
plateau pika
Qinghai–Tibet Plateau
species distribution
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