Assessing climate change impacts on forest ecosystems for landscape-scale spatial planning in Nepal

Global climate change is affecting biodiversity and ecological processes. We coupled a general circulation model that uses global datasets with terrain-based analyses to identify potential climate refugia in two conservation landscapes in Nepal for climate changeintegrated conservation planning. The results indicate that lower and mid-montane forests are vulnerable to climate change, but the temperate upper montane and subalpine forests are more resilient and represent macrorefugia. However, the terrain-based analysis indicates persistence of climate microrefugia in the lower and mid-mountains. Conservation strategies should prioritize the larger climate-resilient forests as macrorefugia, but also include the microrefugia in landscape conservation plans.

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