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Modelling terrestrial reptile species richness, distributions and habitat suitability in Saudi Arabia
Journal of Arid Environments ( IF 1.825 ) Pub Date : 2020-03-14 , DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2020.104153
Abdulaziz S. Alatawi; Francis Gilbert; Tom Reader

Species distribution modelling is a powerful tool that can gives us ecological insights about species distributions, and potential effects of environmental factors, in poorly known habitats. For the first time the distribution of terrestrial reptiles in Saudi Arabia was modelled, and environmental factors that affect their current distribution and richness investigated. Reptiles are a major vertebrate group in Saudi Arabia and protecting them should be a priority for conservation in such an arid environment. Temperature was the most important of eleven predictors. Maximum species richness of reptiles was predicted in the central plateau, north-western borders, and in coastal areas of Saudi Arabia. Overall, the predicted and the observed patterns of species richness followed a similar pattern. Our analysis revealed that large scattered parts of Saudi Arabia are considered under-sampled in terms of sampling efforts of terrestrial reptile species. Our results represent the most comprehensive description of terrestrial reptile diversity distributions and habitat suitability in Saudi Arabia to date.
更新日期:2020-03-16

 

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