Using species distribution models to select species resistant to climate change for ecological restoration of bowe in West Africa

Padonou, E.A. et al., 2015. African Journal of Ecology

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Abstract

Bowalization is a particular form of land degradation and leads to lateral expansion of ferricrete horizons. The process occurs only in tropical regions. In this study, the most adapted and resistant species towards climate change were identified on bowé. The 15 most common bowé species of the subhumid and semi-arid climate zones of Benin were submitted together with significant environmental variables (elevation, current bioclimatic variables, soil types) to three ecological niche modelling programmes (Maxent, Domain and GARP). For future prediction (2050), IPCC4/CIAT and IPCC5/CMIP5 climate data were applied. Asparagus africanus, Andropogon pseudapricus and Combretum nigricans were identified as the most resistant species for ecological restoration of bowé in the semi-arid climate zone and Asparagus africanus, Detarium microcarpumand Lannea microcarpa in the subhumid climate zone. The ‘Pull’ strategies were identified as appropriate for ecological restoration of bowé in Benin.

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