Climatic preferences and distribution of 6 evolutionary lineages of Typhlops vermicularis Merrem, 1820 in Turkey using ecological niche modeling


Abstract: According to evolutionary biologists, ecology is a very important factor in speciation. Ecology may be effective at driving adaptive divergence between lineages in different environments and climatic conditions. Because Anatolia has major mountain belts, paleogeographic characteristics, and unique climatic traits, it plays an important role in speciation and shows a barrier effect for many terrestrial species. In this study, we investigated the climatic preferences of 6 isolated evolutionary lineages of Typhlops vermicularis in Anatolia using ecological niche modeling. Our results revealed that both glacial (Last Glacial Maximum) and interglacial (Last Interglacial) modeling, as well as current modeling, showed the most important climatic variables that potentially limit the spread of 6 major lineages of T. vermicularis throughout all of Anatolia. In addition, our results revealed that 6 lineages of T. vermicularis could be adapted to different climatic conditions. Finally, our study demonstrates the unique climatic importance of Anatolia as a center for the local diversification of T. vermicularis.

Keywords: Climate, ecological niche modeling, Last Glacial Maximum, Last Interglacial, Reptilia, Turkey, Typhlops vermicularis

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