AJCC  Vol.8 No.3 , September 2019
Impact of Climate Change on Species Distribution and Carbon Storage of Agroforestry Trees on Isolated East African Mountains
Abstract: Changes in climate will affect conditions for species growth and distribution, particularly along elevation gradients, where environmental conditions change abruptly. Agroforestry tree (AGT) species on the densely inhabited slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and Taita Hills will change their elevation distribution, and associated carbon storage. This study assesses the potential impacts of climate change by modelling species distribution using maximum entropy. We focus on important agroforestry tree species (Albiziagummifera, Mangiferaindica and Perseaamericana) and projected climate variables under IPCC-AR5 RCP 4.5 and 8.5 for the mid-century (2055) and late century (2085). Results show differential response: downward migration for M. indica on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro is contrasted with Avocado that will shift upslope on the Taita Hills under RCP 8.5. Perseaamericana will lose suitable habitat on Kilimanjaro whereas M. indica will expand habitat suitability. Potential increase in suitable areas for agroforestry species in Taita Hills will occur except for Albizia and Mango which will potentially decrease in suitable areas under RCP 4.5 for period 2055. Shift in minimum elevation range will affect species suitable areas ultimately influencing AGC on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and Taita Hills. The AGC for agroforestry species will decrease on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro but AGC for Mango will increase under RCP 8.5 for period 2055 and 2085. In Taita Hills, AGC will remain relatively stable for A. gummifera and P. americana under RCP 8.5 for period 2055 and 2085 but decrease in AGC will occur for M. indica under projected climate change. Climate change will affect AGT species and the amount of carbon stored differently between the sites. Such insight can inform AGT species choice, and conservation and support development by improving carbon sequestration on sites and reliable food production.
Cite this paper: Odeny, D. , Karanja, F. , Mwachala, G. , Pellikka, P. , Marchant, R. (2019) Impact of Climate Change on Species Distribution and Carbon Storage of Agroforestry Trees on Isolated East African Mountains. American Journal of Climate Change, 8, 364-386. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2019.83020.

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