Understanding the impact of climate change on range shifts in climatically suitable habitats of tree species is important for national afforestation planning, which can enhance the adaptation of tree plantation to climate change through movement of tree to follow suitable climatic conditions. Here, we overlap the current and future climate-related ranges of Chinese sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides
), an important tree used for afforestation in China, to estimate the range shift in three geographic dimensions (latitude, longitude and elevation) between 2000 and 2070, which are projected by the maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt) under current climate conditions and four climate change scenarios (RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0, and RCP8.5). Our results show that the performance of the MaxEnt is highly accurate, with test AUC (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve) value of 0.91, Kappa value of 0.83 and predicted accuracy of 92%. About 10.7% area of land in China is climatically suitable for Chinese sea buckthorn plantation. Low representative concentration paths will have more effect on loss of climatic range and less effect on expansion of climatic range for Chinese sea buckthorn, while the impacts of high representative concentration path is the opposite. The centroids of climatic ranges will shift westward or northwestward at the rate of 10.4–22 km per decade, and the centroids of altitude will shift upward at the rate of 43–128 m per decade. The expansion area of climatically suitable habitat, covering 2.6–5.2 × 105
, is expected to be mainly located in parts of Qinghai, Ningxia, Gansu, Sichuan, Liaoning, and Jilin provinces; these areas should be monitored for planting of Chinese sea buckthorn in the future.
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