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Geographic distribution of two Montivipera taxa using ecological niche modeling

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Abstract

Ecological niche modeling predicts the potential distribution areas of species and contributes to measuring the niche differentiation among taxa. Montivipera albizona and M. bulgardaghica are two mountain viper taxa distributed in Anatolia. In the present study, the habitat suitability of M. albizona and M. bulgardaghica was assessed, and ecological niche ranges between these taxa were compared. According to species distribution models, while the distribution area of M. albizona covers a relatively large region in central Anatolia, M. bulgardaghica has a relatively narrow distribution over the eastern Taurus mountains. The species distributional results showed that the annual temperature range and mean temperature of the coldest quarter were the highest contributing variables, with 62.5% for M. albizona and 67.9% for M. bulgardaghica. Montiverpa albizona prefers 13 different habitat types, while M. bulgardaghica prefers 6 different habitat types in their distribution areas. Niche differentiation analysis revealed that there was no overlap between the two taxa in terms of their ecological niches.

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Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Mehmet Kürşat Şahin for his scientific and language review of the study. The author would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable contributions to the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Muammer Kurnaz.

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Kurnaz, M. Geographic distribution of two Montivipera taxa using ecological niche modeling. J Biosci 48, 7 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12038-023-00333-7

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