Ecological Indicators | 2021

Assessing the impacts of climate change and habitat suitability on the distribution and quality of medicinal plant using multiple information integration: Take Gentiana rigescens as an example



Abstract Gentiana rigescens is an economically important medicinal plant in the subtropical zone in Asia. However, it is unclear how its distribution responds to climate change in the future. This study aims to simulate the effect of climate change on the distribution of G. rigescens by using the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model and to evaluate the potential impact of habitat suitability on the quality of medicinal materials vis multiple chemical information. In the study, we investigated the suitable habitat fluctuation ranges of G. rigescens under different future climate scenarios at first. Subsequently, the chemical geographical variation of medicinal materials collected from different suitable areas was evaluated based on high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis and Fourier-transform mid-infrared (FT-MIR) spectroscopy. The results showed that the areas of highly suitable habitat for G. rigescens was about 23.17\xa0×\xa0104 km2, and more than 98.88% of highly suitable habitat was distributed in the southwest of China. The survival of G. rigescens may be threatened by global climate change in the future. Under the Representative Concentration Pathways 8.5 (RCP8.5) climate scenario, the change ratio of the highly suitable habitat will be −99.22% in 2070. Meanwhile, the centroids of the highly suitable area showed a westward-shifting trend under future emission trajectories. HPLC analysis showed that medicinal materials from highly suitable areas contained higher concentrations of total iridoid glycoside. Analysis results of FT-MIR data combined with OPLS-DA modeling indicated that the overall chemical composition of samples collected from different suitable habitats were different, and the habitat suitability had a stronger effect on the chemical composition in leaf than that in stem and root. Based on the concentration of iridoids and FT-MIR fingerprint, our research demonstrated there was a certain correlation of habitat suitability with the overall chemical variation of G. rigescens. The highly suitable habitat was better for the cultivation of high-quality medicinal materials. In summary, these findings would improve our understanding of the distribution and quality variation of medicinal Gentiana under future climate change. Meanwhile, the study approach based on multiple information integration could provide a useful case for research of other medicinal plants.

Volume 123
Pages 107376
DOI 10.1016/J.ECOLIND.2021.107376
Language English
Journal Ecological Indicators

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