Rasoul Karamiani, Nasrullah Rastegar-Pouyani

The effect of climate change on habitat suitability and a distribution model of the Iranian fat-tailed gecko, Eublepharis angramainyu Anderson and Leviton, 1966 (Sauria: Eublepharidae) since the Last Interglacial to 2050

Abstract Surveying the role of climate changes on the species distributions in the past, present and future, and correlating these with changes in distribution ranges have attracted considerable research interest. The leopard geckos of the genus Eublepharis Gray, 1827 (family Eublepharidae), as a vicariate group, comprises six valid species distributed from Turkey through the Iranian Plateau to India, of which E. angramainyu, E. macularius and E. turcmenicus occur in Iran. In this study, we modelled the potential distribution areas for E. angramainyu and determined the suitable habitats in the past (the last interglacial [LIG] and mid-Holocene [MH]), present (1950–2000), and also predicted four scenarios in the future (2050) by using the maximum entropy approach (MaxEnt). The obtained models indicated very good values of the area under curve (AUC): LIG = 0.996 ± 0.003, MH = 0.996 ± 0.004, contemporary period = 0.995 ± 0.004, and the future = 0.997 ± 0.002.  Precipitation of the coldest quarter and precipitation of the warmest quarter were the most important factors shaping the distribution of E. angramainyu. As it seems, climatic changes have been responsible for a southward shift in distribution and suitable habitats of E. angramainyu from the LIG (~150,000–120,000 years ago) to the future. The representative concentration pathway (RCP) 2.6 scenario model of the future predicted a much more restricted distribution and less suitable habitats due to radiation of the forcing level which reaches a value of around 3.1 W/m² by mid-century and returns to 2.6 W/m² by 2100.

Doi https://doi.org/10.35513/21658005.2021.1.5

Keywords Leopard gecko; climate condition; suitable habitat; Last interglacial; mid-Holocene, future

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