Novel Index for bioclimatic zone-based biodiversity conservation strategies under climate change in Northeast Asia

Yuyoung Choi, Chul Hee Lim, Hye In Chung, Jieun Ryu, Seong Woo Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Biodiversity is rapidly declining globally and targeted efforts are needed to mitigate the loss of species. Conventional conservation efforts have focused on establishing protected areas and restoring degraded lands in order to maintain current conditions or restore ecosystems to a pre-damaged state. However, as the climate changes, the current bioclimatic zones will be re-distributed globally. Historical distribution patterns may no longer serve as an effective guide for supporting biodiversity under climate change. In response to these challenges, this study proposes a spatially explicit strategy for biodiversity conservation that takes climate change into account using bioclimatic classification. The bioclimatic classification maps of Northeast Asia (NEA) were constructed for three historical time periods (the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s) and two future time periods (the 2050s and 2070s) using five general circulation models (GCMs) in representative concentration pathway (RCP 8.5) scenarios. It was predicted that, in general, zones are shifting north, and some zones are expanding or shrinking rapidly. Based on an analysis of latitudinal and areal change for each zone, the bioclimate vulnerability index (BVI) and naturality index (NI) were developed to quantify the impact of environmental change. As a result of the BVI analysis, the distribution of vulnerable zones is expected to shift northward and expand. As is evident with the increased vulnerability of the subarctic region caused by the expansion of the temperate climate, the extent of vulnerable zones will increase. Also, the southern regions of NEA are becoming vulnerable due to the transformation of the temperate zone to a more subtropical zone. Quadrant graphs based on the BVI and NI were created to present appropriate strategies for each zone. Our proposed framework shows that conservation strategies should be modified based on the changes in the relative position of each zone over time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124048
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 9


  • Bioclimate vulnerability index
  • Bioclimatic zone
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate change
  • Conservation strategies
  • Naturality index
  • Northeast Asia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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