Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 125, Issue 3–4, pp 785–798 | Cite as

Can changes in the distribution of lizard species over the past 50 years be attributed to climate change?

  • Jianguo WuEmail author
Original Paper


We analyzed changes in the distributions of nine lizard species in China over the past 50 years and identified whether these changes could be attributed to climate change. Long-term records of lizard distributions, grey relational analysis, fuzzy set classification techniques, and attribution methods were used. The distribution of nearly half of the lizard species primarily shifted northward, westward, or eastward since the 1970s, and most changes were related to the thermal index. In response to climate change over the past 50 years, the distribution boundary and center of some species have mainly shifted northward, westward, or eastward, with some irregular shifting during the process. The observed and predicted changes in distribution were highly consistent for some lizard species. The changes in the northern and eastern distribution limits of nearly half of the lizard species and the western limits and distribution centers of several species can be attributed to climate change.


Climate Change Climatic Factor Distribution Center Precipitation Change Consistency Index 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The work described in this paper was substantially supported by a project of the National Science and Technology Support Program of China (2012BAC19B06). We would like to thank those who provided a helpful discussion of the ideas presented in this paper, and we thank the three anonymous reviewers whose constructive comments greatly improved the manuscript. We especially thank the observers of lizards throughout the years. Many thanks are given to Pr. Shaohong Wu, Dr. Tao Pan, and Dr. Jie Pan for providing the climate dates and Dr. Qiaofu Zhou for the ArcGIS mapping.

Supplementary material

704_2015_1553_MOESM1_ESM.doc (908 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 908 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Center for Climate ChangeChinese Research Academy of Environmental SciencesBeijingChina

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