Turkish Journal of Zoology




The Anatolian newt, Neurergus strauchii, is an endemic Anatolian species. Until recently, N. strauchii was represented by three subspecies. It has been discussed within a recent phylogenetic study in which the subspecies N. s. barani is recommended to be evaluated as a cryptic but distinct species. To address this subject, we aimed to discuss the niche differentiation between N. barani and N. strauchii using geographical and bioclimatic aspects. All georeferenced data of N. barani and N. strauchii were used to estimate the potential distributions of these species in the Anatolian Peninsula. To evaluate their ecological niche differentiation, point-based analysis and niche similarity tests were done. Ecological niche modeling outcomes demonstrated a significant niche differentiation between N. barani and N. strauchii. Moreover, since these species are distributed in the east and west of the Euphrates Basin, this river might be considered as a geographic barrier that can cause isolation for these species. Lastly, we demonstrated their potential distributions for future with several scenarios. Our findings strengthened the results of the recent phylogenetic study and indicated the necessity of handling "barani" taxa at the species level. Moreover, these results contribute, as a piece of evidence, to the biodiversity of Anatolia where another endemic species lives.


Niche differentiation, isothermality, Neurergus barani, Neurergus strauchii, Salamandridae, Anatolia

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