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      Potential distribution and habitat connectivity of Crotalus triseriatus in Central Mexico

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      Herpetozoa

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          The dusky rattlesnake, Crotalus triseriatus, used to be very abundant in many parts of the highlands of central Mexico, but with the increasing human population and associated activities, the rattlesnake habitats and populations have suffered drastic reductions and fragmentation. At the moment, the most important habitat features, associated with the presence of C. triseriatus, the current potential distribution and the landscape connectivity amongst the populations of the State of Mexico and Mexico City, are unknown. Therefore, we used the maximum entropy modelling software (MAXENT) to analyse the current potential distribution and most important habitat features, associated with the presence of the species. The variables with the highest contribution to the model were: proportion of Abies forest, minimum temperature of coldest month, maximum temperature of the warmest month, proportion of Pinus forest and annual precipitation. Furthermore, we found connectivity corridors only within mountain chains. Our results highlight the necessity for conserving the patches of Abies forest and preserving the populations of C. triseriatus and the connectivity of the landscape.

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          Evaluating predictive models of species’ distributions: criteria for selecting optimal models

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            Circuit theory predicts gene flow in plant and animal populations.

            Maintaining connectivity for broad-scale ecological processes like dispersal and gene flow is essential for conserving endangered species in fragmented landscapes. However, determining which habitats should be set aside to promote connectivity has been difficult because existing models cannot incorporate effects of multiple pathways linking populations. Here, we test an ecological connectivity model that overcomes this obstacle by borrowing from electrical circuit theory. The model vastly improves gene flow predictions because it simultaneously integrates all possible pathways connecting populations. When applied to data from threatened mammal and tree species, the model consistently outperformed conventional gene flow models, revealing that barriers were less important in structuring populations than previously thought. Circuit theory now provides the best-justified method to bridge landscape and genetic data, and holds much promise in ecology, evolution, and conservation planning.
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              Geographic gradients in body size: a clarification of Bergmann's rule. BIODIVERSITY RESEARCH

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Herpetozoa
                Herpetozoa
                Pensoft Publishers
                2682-955X
                1013-4425
                June 27 2019
                June 27 2019
                : 32
                : 139-148
                Article
                10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e36361
                © 2019

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