Climatic niches are key factors driving global and regional species distributions. The Atlantic Forest domain is considered one of the most threatened biomes in the world, and one of the main centres of plant diversity and endemism in the Neotropics. Of the over 13,000 species of vascular plants, nearly 15% are vascular epiphytes. Here we analysed for the first time how current epiphyte niches will be affected under future climate projections (SSP126 and SSP585) within 1.5 million km2 of Atlantic Forest in South America. Using the largest database of vascular epiphytes to date (n = 1521 species; n = 75599 occurrence records) and ordination models, we found that the Atlantic Forest is expected to become warmer and drier and that up to 304 epiphyte species (20%) will have their average niche positions displaced outside the available climate space by the years 2040–2100. The findings from this study can help to inform ongoing legislative conservation efforts in one of the world’s most biodiverse regions.
- climate change
- Atlantic Forest