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Regional zoogeographical zoning using species distribution modelling by the example of small mammals of South-Eastern Transbaikalia
Obolenskaya E.V., Lissovsky A.A.
P. 171-185
Zoogeographical studies of regional scale always deal with incompleteness of faunal information. Such information is usually available as a set of localities, covering the studied area as an irregular network. At the same time, full coverage of data is needed for any spatial analysis. In this study, we attempted to perform faunal zoning at a regional level, formalising the procedure to the greatest extent possible. We used 47 small mammal species distribution models (SDM) as initial data for faunal zoning. SDMs were previously constructed based on localities determined using museum labels and environmental data with the maximum entropy method. SDMs were converted to binary values using fixed threshold. We calculated 1-Jaccard similarity coefficients between unique sets of predicted species compositions in each raster cell. The resulting dissimilarity matrix was analysed using hierarchical cluster analysis with the Ward and unweighted average methods. We distinguished three large clusters with nine subclusters based the similarity of the fauna composition. Patterns of the spatial distribution of species numbers and species composition homogeneity were obtained. The relationships between the distribution of species richness and the spatial heterogeneity of the fauna with latitude, longitude, altitude and environmental factors were studied using regression and discriminant analysis. Finally, two faunas were found in South-Eastern Transbaikalia, and a large territory in this region is occupied by a zone of their interpenetration. Analysis of stacked SDMs proposed as important tool for investigation of regional zoogeographical heterogeneity. It is especially useful for extrapolation of faunal data to a larger unstudied territory.

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