Stakheev V.V., Khlyap L.A., Mironova T.A., Abramson N.I., Malygin V.M., Lissovsky A.A. 2023. Geographic distribution of Microtus arvalis and Microtus rossiaemeridionalis in Eastern Europe // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.22. No.1. P.53–61 [in English].

Valery V. Stakheev [], Federal Research Center The Southern Scientific Centre of the RAS, Chehova 41, Rostov-on-Don 344006, Russia; Lyudmila A. Khlyap [], Tatyana A. Mironova [], Andrey A. Lissovsky [], Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution RAS, Leninskiy pr. 33, Moscow 119071, Russia; Natalya I. Abramson [], Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg 199034, Russia; Vasiliy M. Malygin, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vorobievy Gory, 1/12, Moscow 119234, Russia.

doi: 10.15298/rusjtheriol.22.1.06

ABSTRACT. We studied a sample of occurrence localities of two sibling species: the common Microtus arvalis and the East-European vole M. rossiaemeridionalis, identified genetically or cytogenetically, by species distribution modelling (MaxEnt) methods for the territory of Eastern Europe. Climate data and remote sensing data were used as predictors. Despite of some difference in modern distribution of the species, we did not find any significant difference between ecological preferences of the common and East-European voles. Thus, we have tried to explain modern differences in distribution without ecological arguments. Such difference can be caused by historical reasons, when one of the species holds the territory on the basis of the founder principle or density-dependent spatial structuring. Another possibility is a segregating based on the behavioral or physiological peculiarities of the vole species. The low AUC values of our spatial models can be explained taking into account the dynamic change of landscapes of the Russian Plain, where the zone of sympatry of the sibling species is located, as well as by poor knowledge of species distribution details.

KEY WORDS: Microtus arvalis, Microtus rossiaemeridionalis, species distribution modelling.

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