Management plans for Korean national parks to conserve the habitat of the Korean fir (Abies koreana)

Sangdon Lee, Hongchul Park, Ahmee Jeong, Yein Lee, Seulki Koo, Minkyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Korean fir (Abies koreana) is dying and declining due to recent increases in temperature, water stress, and competition from temperate trees. Therefore, it is becoming crucial for national parks to have effective management plans for the conservation of the Korean fir's predicted potential habitat. This study was conducted in three Korean national parks—Deogyusan National Park (NP), Jirisan National Park, and Hallasan National Park—that are known to have the representative natural habitat of the Korean fir. The variables were selected by species experts. In this study, we used the MaxEnt model to represent potential habitats for 59 Korean fir presence points and environmental variables created with 10-meter spatial resolution to reflect the microclimate. There were 10 environmental variables for Deogyusan NP, 12 for Jirisan NP, and nine for Hallasan NP. The model's area under the curve (AUC) was 0.993 for Deogyusan NP, 0.968 for Jirisan NP, and 0.975 for Hallasan NP, with these values greater than 0.9 indicating a high degree of fit. Forest type and elevation were analyzed as the most influential variables affecting the distribution in Deogyusan and Jirisan NPs, while Hallasan NP showed the most pronounced effects from artificial disturbances. In addition, the numerical ranges for high probability of distribution were different for each variable, suggesting the need for a regional-scale analysis. Current species distribution models are projected on future changes in climate. According to the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP) 2–4.5 and 5–8.5 scenarios, the Korean fir is at significant risk of disappearing from Deogyusan and Jirisan NPs in the near term (2030s), mid-term (2060s), and long-term (2090s), while the area of suitable habitats for the Korean fir is slightly increasing in Hallasan NP. Given that both climate and the environment affect the distribution of Korean fir in different regions, this study suggests that national parks' conservation management plans for the preservation of the predicted habitat of the Korean fir, which is vulnerable to climate change, should reflect the characteristics of the region. For the effective conservation and restoration of the species in the future, it is necessary to categorize status and conservation strategies by region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110285
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume287
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Alpine species
  • Climate change
  • Hallasan National Park
  • Korean fir
  • Management plan
  • MaxEnt
  • SSP scenario

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