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Assessment Framework for Conservation and Management of Legume Plants in Coastal East Africa

Assessment Framework for Conservation and Management of Legume Plants in Coastal East Africa

By Zhang Nannan

 

The Fabaceae family, commonly known as the legumes, is one of East Africa's most important plant families. Many legume species are threatened by climate change and human disturbances. Therefore, enhanced forecasting of potential conservation areas for the persistence of these threatened species is required.

In a study published in South African Journal of Botany, researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators tried to identify high priority conservation areas and better understand the eco-geographic adaptations, ranges, and conservation status of diverse Fabaceae taxa in coastal regions of East Africa.

By integrating species occurrence data with bioclimatic and topographic data, the researchers generated ecological niche models of eleven legume species. They used those models to assess the range shifts of the eleven species and identify taxa with the highest extinction threats.

By employing historical occurrence records and a MaxEnt modeling approach, the researchers computed for the first time the potential future distribution of threatened  species in coastal East Africa under global climate change prediction models.

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