Rustam H. Pshegusov, PhD, Head of the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Laboratory in the Tembotov Institute of Ecology of Mountain Territories of RAS (360051, Russia, Kabardino-Balkar Republic, Nalchik, I. Armand street, 37-a); iD ORCID:; е-mail:
Victoria A. Chadaeva, Dr.Sc., Head of the Geobotanical Research Laboratory in the Tembotov Institute of Ecology of Mountain Territories of RAS (360051, Russia, Kabardino-Balkar Republic, Nalchik, I. Armand street, 37-a); iD ORCID:; е-mail:

Reference to article

Pshegusov R.H., Chadaeva V.A. 2024. Distribution modelling of the Caucasian endemic Fritillaria latifolia against the background of climate change. Nature Conservation Research 9(1): 45–57.

Electronic Supplement 1. The study design of the ecological niche modelling of the Caucasian endemic, Fritillaria latifolia (Link)
Electronic Supplement 2. Testing for spatial clustering of presence points and sampling bias, variables used in the analysis and model performance, and predictive maps of climatogenic dynamics of Fritillaria latifolia range and the areas of the species refugia in the Caucasus (Link)
Electronic Supplement 3. R packages used in the study of the ecological niche modelling of the Caucasian endemic Fritillaria latifolia (Link)
Electronic Supplement 4. ODMAP protocol used in the paper of Pshegusov & Chadaeva (2024) (Link)

Section Research articles

Current climate change, habitat degradation, pastoralism, shoot and bulb harvesting pose serious threats to the rare Caucasian endemic Fritillaria latifolia throughout its range. Knowledge of the limiting factors, species range dynamics in relation to climate change and the role of Protected Areas in species distribution are necessary to develop an effective conservation system at present and in the future. This was aimed (1) to determine the most suitable set of abiotic predictors for modelling Fritillaria latifolia localisation, (2) to formalise environmental and anthropogenic factors in species distribution models, (3) to predict the possible changes in the species range in relation to climatic changes, (4) to identify refugia with a consistently high probability of the species occurrence despite climatic changes. We applied Maxent software for species habitat modelling to build current and climatic models of the Fritillaria latifolia distribution, considering the abiotic variables and anthropogenic predictors such as the distance to Protected Areas and grasslands. Distances to anthropogenic infrastructure were calculated with the Path Distance measure considering the horizontal straight-line distance, surface distance and vertical factor. We also formalised the area accessibility (movement factor) through the distance to optimal sites (plots with 0.8 threshold of habitat suitability), where the probability of species occurrence was higher than 0.5. The most important abiotic variables in the species distribution were the Emberger's pluviothermic quotient, with optimal values corresponding to humid and perhumid climates, and the terrain roughness index, with optimal values ranging from nearly level (81–116) to intermediately rugged (162–239) slopes. Distance to Protected Areas (0–1 km) was the third important predictor of the Fritillaria latifolia current distribution, while the distance to grasslands contributed less to the model. The distance of suitable areas from optimal habitats (area accessibility) was 15 km. The species current core ranges are localised in the Western and Central Caucasus, Western and Central Transcaucasia, and the northwestern ridges of the Lesser Caucasus within a network of Protected Areas covering most of the highlands. The optimistic socio-economic pathway SSP1-2.6 predicted a 1.6-fold decrease in the area of species optimal habitats from 2021 to 2100. The pessimistic SSP5-8.5 scenario predicted 122-fold habitat area reduction. According to SSP1-2.6 climatic models, by 2100 the refugia area would be 172.4 km2 in the highlands of the western and central parts of the Greater Caucasus, including the Caucasus State Nature Reserve and Teberda National Park. These areas should be prioritised for the conservation of Fritillaria latifolia populations.


Biotic-Abiotic-Movement concept, Maxent, Protected Area, refugia, socio-economic pathways

Artice information

Received: 17.04.2023. Revised: 15.11.2023. Accepted: 14.12.2023.

The full text of the article

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