POTENTIAL DISTRIBUTION OF HUMID MOUNTAIN FOREST IN MEXICO
AbstractHumid Mountain Forest is one of the most important Mexican biomes due to the high floristic richness and endemism found within its small geographical extension. The distribution of this biome is not well known in the country; accordingly, the goal of this paper is to delimit its distribution by using potential distribution models of species characteristic to the biome as surrogates. Based on herbarium specimens housed at the National Herbarium of Mexico, a database of 78 species restricted or mostly restricted to Humid Mountain Forest was constructed. In addition, 56 environmental covariates (26 climatic, nine soil properties, nine topographic attributes, and 14 remote sensing data) were assembled. Species modeling was done using MaxEnt. Twenty-three covariates defined the Humid Mountain Forest distribution in Mexico. Among these, normalized vegetation index for May, total annual precipitation, and organic carbon content in the soil were the most important. According to the models, Humid Mountain Forest in Mexico represents 7% of the total surface of the country and it is found in 25 of the 32 states. Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán, and Oaxaca are the most outstanding states since they collectively account for 74% of the total Humid Mountain Forest surface.
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