Teresa Alfaro Reyna, Josue Delgado-Balbuena, Fernando Arellano-Martín, Aixchel Maya-Martínez, Xavier García-Cuevas, Yameli Aguilar-Duarte, Carlos Alberto Aguirre-Gutierrez


Background: The Yucatan Peninsula is covered mainly by semi-humid forests associated with karstic zones. These landscapes show high rates of endemism, and although they are resilient ecosystems, climatic variations place them as highly susceptible areas to climate change. Objective: To identify environmental and anthropogenic risk factors in the semi-humid forests of the Yucatan Peninsula, and to evaluate the vulnerability to climate change of 25 forest species with economic importance in this region. Methodology: A multi-criteria analysis was carried out to rank edaphic and climatic variables, changes in potential distribution due to climate change, species density and growing rate. These variables were integrated into a matrix and each variable was valued from 0 to 4, weighted between parameters, the higher the value, the greater the susceptibility. Four percent of the species were classified into the high-risk susceptibility and 84 % as medium risk and the rest as low. These species have a low density per hectare, have a restricted distribution, are slow growing and are over shallow soils. Implications: Species that can develop in a wide range of environmental conditions and have rapid growth rates were less susceptible to the risk factors analyzed here. Conclusions: The greatest risk factor was due to the effect of climate change, followed by the proximity to the Caribbean coast and the type of soil, which suggests that more conservation actions for forest species are needed, which will also ensure the provision of environmental services to human populations.


multicriteria analysis; potential distribution; ecological range.

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