Vulnerability of Khaya senegalensis Desr & Juss to climate change and to the invasion of Hypsipyla robusta Moore in Benin (West Africa)
Khaya senegalensis Desr & Juss is an urban tree species with high quality wood, unfortunately disturbed by Hypsipyla robusta Moore. However, how vulnerable this species is with regard to climate change and to Hypsipyla robusta over time and space is unknown. This study aimed at assessing as well the climate change impacts on both species as the overlapping extent of their suitable areas over time and space. To this end, the MaxEnt approach for Ecological Niche Modelling was used to compute suitable areas for both species under current and future climates (Africlim RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5). Spatio-temporal Analysis was performed using Geographic Information System. Upon 2055, climate change will impact negatively 15-16% of Benin while the positive impacts will account only for 2-3%, and the stable areas will represent 74-75%. As for Hypsipyla robusta, climate change will provide only habitat loss of about 66% of the country. So, many plantation sites are exposed to biological attack from the pest, but wouldn‟t be more in future, giving hope for Khaya senegalensis’ high quality wood production. Meanwhile, there will be an ecological imbalance due to the drastic potential habitat loss for the insect.
Keywords: Khaya senegalensis, Forest pests, Wood quality, Ecological modelling.