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Evaluation of Ecological Niches among three Subspecies of Trapelus Agilis (Olivier, 1807) (Sauria: Agamidae) in Iran

A. A. Shahamat, N. Rastegar-Pouyani, E. Rastegar-Pouyani


Ecological niche modeling is an important tool to delimit species of different taxa. In the present study, we investigated ecological niche differentiation among three subspecies of Trapelus agilis in Iran. We found that T. a. agilis and T. a. sanguinolentus had similar ecological niches and their niches could not be differentiated through our models. Trapelus a. khuzestanensis differed from the other two subspecies and the potential habitat suitability reflects the fact that this subspecies is restricted to the western plains of the Zagros Mountains in Khuzestan. However, T. a. agilis has a widespread predicted suitable region of habitat in the central part of Iran, possibly due to the presence of variable micro-habitat. Based on the result, the high niche overlap can be found between T. a. agilis and T. a. sanguinolentus (more than 65%) and the smallest niche overlap was occurred between T. a. agilis and T. a. khuzestanensis (about 10%). According to this evidence, T. a. khuzestanensis can be elevated to the species level as T. khuzestanensis, but other subspecies (T. a. agilis and T. a. sanguinolentus) remain at their current level.

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