EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE STATUS AND PRESENCE OF VEGETATION IN SAUDI ARABIA
A succession of environmental events over the last few years has led to a dramatically increased awareness of the issue of global climate change. Global climate change is affecting the distribution of marine species and is thought to represent a threat to biodiversity. The global climate changes are new and unique in that they will have been generated by human activity and could result in disruptions in ecosystems. The goals of both conservation biology and agriculture of feeding an increasing world population and preserving species diversity may be seriously challenged when linked to climate change. This study applies all species distribution in relation to climate projection to explore the potential impacts of climate change on species by 2050. A set of species in the KSA, including different threatened species were used as a case study. Changes in habitat suitability in selected candidate protected areas around the KSA under future climatic scenarios were assessed for these species. Using collected readings from main meteorological stations, changes in climate of Saudi Arabia were recorded and incorporated to endemic and rare or endangered plants. Outputs of these data had an average climate change trend around KSA from 2000 to 2011, with high inter annual variability. The pattern is expected given that it is relatively shallow (average depth ≈90 m). Also, average increases between 1985 and 2050 are 0.77°C and 1.27°C. Atmospheric changes in precipitation patterns, temperature, and greenhouse gases had extreme effects on species distribution and ecosystems characteristics. Vegetation profoundly affected, with local, regional, and global changes. Species distribution is likely to be altered as a consequence of global climate change. The ensemble projections indicated that northward shifts in species at an average rate of 27 km per decade, resulting in small average changes in range overlap between threatened exploited species. Furthermore, the adverse consequences of climate change on the habitat suitability of protected areas were projected to be small. Although the models show large variation in the predicted consequences of climate change, the multi-model approach helps identify the potential risk of increased exposure to human stressors of critically endangered species.