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Individualistic response to past climate changes: niche differentiation promotes diverging Quaternary range dynamics in the subspecies of Testudo graeca

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Understanding how species have responded to past climate changes might inform how current climate change may affect species. However, current perspectives on species’ response to Quaternary cycles mainly stem from studies on mid and high latitudes and limited information is available at lower latitudes. In these systems a greater variation in individual species’ responses to glacial cycles has been suggested, but we lack of clear case studies of such variations. Here, by means of ecological niche modelling, we characterized the niche differentiation of the five subspecies of the tortoise Testudo graeca in north Africa and described the range dynamics suffered by each of the subspecies since the Last Glacial Maxima. Molecular data was employed to infer past population dynamics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2015

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