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Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia

On-line version ISSN 0718-686X

Abstract

PLISCOFF, Patricio; ARROYO, Mary T. K  and  CAVIERES, Lohengrin. Changes in the main vegetation types of Chile predicted under climate change based on a preliminary study: Models, uncertainties and adapting research to a dynamic biodiversity world. Anales Instituto Patagonia (Chile) [online]. 2012, vol.40, n.1, pp. 81-86. ISSN 0718-686X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-686X2012000100010.

Climate change effects on biodiversity occur at different level of organization (organisms, species and ecosystems). Vegetation type bears a close relationship with climate, such that global warming is ex-pected to alter the distribution of major vegetation types in the near future. Using a bioclimatic envelope modeling approach, the major vegetation types of Chile were modeled and projected using IPCC scenarios for year 2080. The results show transitions among vegetation types in relation to their current latitudinal and altitudinal distribution. Major changes include an upward shift of the alpine vegetation and southward expansion of absolute desert and desert scrub into the present area of sclerophyllous forest. Changes in the relative representation of different vegetation types in Chile´s protected areas can be expected. The limitations of modeling exercises are discussed along with need for better scientific knowledge on key biological processes such as dispersal and pollination.

Keywords : Climate change; Bioclimatic envelope modeling; Vegetation Types; MAXENT; PRECIS.

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