Polyporus umbellatus is a fungus that has been used medically as a diuretic for thousands of years in China. To evaluate the impacts of climatic change on the distribution of P. umbellatus, we selected the annual mean air temperature, isothermality, minimum temperature of the coldest month, annual temperature range, annual precipitation and precipitation seasonality and used observations from the 2000s and simulated values from two future periods (2041 to 2060 and 2061 to 2080) to build an ensemble model (EM); then, we developed a comprehensive habitat suitability model by integrating soil and vegetation conditions into the EM to assess the distribution of suitable P. umbellatus habitats across China in the 2000s and the two future periods. Our results show that annual precipitation and annual mean air temperature together largely determine the distribution of P. umbellatus and those suitable P. umbellatus habitats generally occur in areas with an optimal annual precipitation of approximately 1000 mm and an optimal annual mean air temperature of approximately 13 °C. In other words, P. umbellatus requires a humid and cool environment for growth. In addition, brown soils with a granular structure and low acidity are more suitable for P. umbellatus. Furthermore, we have observed that the distribution of P. umbellatus is usually associated with the presence of coniferous, mixed coniferous, and broad-leaved forests, suggesting that these vegetation types are suitable habitats for P. umbellatus. In the future, annual precipitation and annual mean air temperature will continue to increase, consequently increasing the availability of habitats suitable for P. umbellatus in northeastern and southwestern China but likely leading to a degradation of suitable P. umbellatus habitats in central China.
Keywords: Geographic distribution; MaxEnt; Medicinal fungus; Polyporus umbellatus; Species distribution models.
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