Supplementary Material for: Using Ecological Niche Modelling to Predict Spatial and Temporal Distribution Patterns in Chinese Gibbons: Lessons from the Present and the Past

2012-10-02T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Chatterjee H.J. Tse J.S.Y. Turvey S.T.
Ecological niche modelling (ENM) is used to predict species’ tolerance to changing environmental conditions. Understanding changes in the spatial distribution of species across time is essential in order to develop effective conservation strategies. Here we map the past and present distribution of gibbons across China, a country experiencing extensive anthropogenic habitat destruction and ongoing biodiversity loss. The distribution of gibbons across three time intervals is described based on fossil, historical and modern-day data, and ENM, implemented using DIVA-GIS, is used to predict how modern-day gibbon distributions might respond to future climate change. Predictions based on modern-day data alone fail to reveal patterns of environmental tolerance and geographical distribution shown by gibbons in the relatively recent historical period, emphasizing the need to incorporate past as well as present data in conservation analyses.