Name: Rodrigues M

Biodeserts supervisors: Boratyński Z, Martínez-Freiría F

Title: Testing niche divergence between Saharan rodents (Jaculus jaculus and J. deserti)

Institution: University of Porto

Status: Completed




Jaculus jaculus and J.deserti are found in sympatry in North Africa. To test ecological divergence between this two lineages and the degree on which their niches are overlapped, I analysed topoclimatic and habitat correlates of their distribution combining Spatial Principal Component Analyses (SPCA), Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Ecological Niche-based Models (ENM). I found that topoclimatic niches are similar and overlapped in both species, whereas habitat niches are slightly different but overlapped too. These results suggest recent divergence between J. jaculus and J. deserti, and the occurrence of sympatric speciation between them.