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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


CONTRERAS-MEDINA, RAÚL; LUNA-VEGA, ISOLDA  and  RIOS-MUNOZ, CÉSAR A. Distribution of Taxus globosa (Taxaceae) in Mexico: Ecological niche modeling, effects of land use change and conservation. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2010, vol.83, n.3, pp.421-433. ISSN 0716-078X.

Taxus globosa is a gymnosperm inhabiting Mexican and northern Central American temperate forests, and it has been considered as threatened by Mexican and international conservancy agencies. In México, habitat loss is one of the main threats for most of the cloud forest species including this taxon, being human-induced land use change a key issue. We obtained the potential distribution of this species through Maxent algorithm based on 73 herbarium records. Also the modification of vegetation cover for three time periods (1976, 1996 y 2000) was analyzed upon the potential distribution of this species. The known and potential geographical distribution was evaluated in relation to the current Mexican National System of Natural Protected Areas at federal level (ANPs) and Mexican Priority Regions for Conservation (RTPs), in order to determine the role of these areas in its conservation and management. Potential distribution models show an important reduction (until 84 %) of the distribution area related with land use change. This species is scarcely represented in the ANPs, because less than 10 % of its potential distribution occurs within these areas of federal protection. This approach represents an important tool in biogeography and conservation, as well as in other areas of biology, due to its predictive ability. Our results highlight the urgency to preserve the remaining Mexican temperate forest patches, mainly cloud forest ones, to guarantee the existence of this species.

Keywords : Maxent; Mexican yew; natural protected areas; predicted distribution.

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