Modelling future impacts of climate change on the spatial distribution of timber tree species in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
The DRC’s forest ecosystem constitutes one of its greatest assets as it provides ecological and socio-economic services to its population. Climate change is expected to impact the future distribution of tree species. In this study we assessed the impact of climate change on the future distribution of selected five timber species (Afzelia bipindensis, Entandrophragma Cylindricum, Khaya Anthotheca, Milicia excelsa and Pericopsis elata) located in the DRC using the RCP 6.0 climate change scenario.
The results revealed that the future climate will remain warm and wet, a condition that would be favourable for forest productivity.
Furthermore, we observed a diminution in the distribution of sites that are highly suitable for the species. Conversely, sites that are less suitable for the species increased in proportion. The observed change in range in the distribution of suitable sites is an evidence of the potential impacts that climate change will have on the distribution of tree species.
CDS Geoprospective Science