Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2024-06-04 07:24:08



Honors Course

BIOL 499

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2024


The spring ephemeral plant Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) has a widespread native range in North America, spanning much of the eastern United States and Canada. While its current NatureServe conservation status is designated as ‘secure’ (NatureServe, 2023), its status as a spring ephemeral places it at a heightened risk for climate change-induced phenological mismatch with advancing forest canopy closure. Additionally, under continued anthropogenic climate change, Bloodroot may also experience range shifts or contractions as the edges of its present range warm past physiological thresholds. To determine the potential for range shifts and contractions under future warming, I generated a species distribution model (SDM) for Bloodroot. The model was built under contemporary (1960-1990) climate variables and then projected to a future climate scenario (2050s) using maximum entropy modeling (Maxent). 17,203 georeferenced and spatially rarefied occurrences with an 80-20% split were used for training and testing the model, respectively. I used the 19 Bioclim variables from WorldClim for both contemporary and future scenarios. Comparisons of thresholded range maps from the contemporary and future predictions demonstrated a northward shift in Bloodroot’s distribution, with a small overall decrease in the predicted suitable area, primarily at the trailing southern edge. These results will inform management and conservation for this important native species under climate change, with ramifications for other aspects of Bloodroot life history, including pollination and seed dispersal.

Research Sponsor

Chelsea Miller

First Reader

Gary Holliday

Second Reader

Randall Mitchell

Honors Faculty Advisor

Brian Bagatto

Proprietary and/or Confidential Information




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