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Mammalia

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Volume 81, Issue 5 (Aug 2017)

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Niche overlap and shared distributional patterns between two South American small carnivorans: Galictis cuja and Lyncodon patagonicus (Carnivora: Mustelidae)

Mauro Ignacio Schiaffini
  • Corresponding author
  • Centro de Investigación Esquel de Montaña y Estepa Patagónica (CIEMEP), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco, Roca 780. CP 9200. Esquel, Chubut, Argentina
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Published Online: 2016-10-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2015-0158

Abstract

Limiting abiotic conditions might shape boundaries of species distribution, while biotic factors influence such distributions through interspecific relationships. When two morphologically and or/ecologically similar species are geographically overlapped, a distribution displacement or a change in size or morphology is expected to minimize competition. Environmental niche modeling (ENM) might help us understand the relationship between distribution of a species’ pair and their relationship with environmental conditions, allowing us to test the possible existence of shared distribution patterns and/or displacements across wide geographic ranges. In this work, distribution patterns and climatic and geographic overlap are analyzed between two South American small carnivorans, Galictis cuja and Lyncodon patagonicus, using geographic information systems and ENM. Environmental tolerance of the latter species seems to be enclosed within the range of the former, with high geographic overlap. No evidence of niche displacement was found between them. G. cuja seems to be a more generalist species than L. patagonicus, and size difference (e.g. body size, dentition size) might be the mechanism that allows coexistence between these highly similar species, although future field studies might be needed to support this statement.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: competition; distribution patterns; ENMTools; environmental niche modeling; MaxEnt

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About the article

Received: 2015-09-17

Accepted: 2016-08-26

Published Online: 2016-10-25

Published in Print: 2017-08-28


Citation Information: Mammalia, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2015-0158.

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