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Modelling suitable areas for Hyla meridionalis under current and future hypothetical expansion scenarios

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New records of the frog Hyla meridionalis have been reported on the Iberian Central mountain range, although it is not clear if those records correspond to an expansion process or to a lack of sampling. The species' global distribution was modelled to identify possible areas of expansion in the current environment and in a near future environment. To verify the effects of modelling a dynamic situation, the hypothetical expansion process from south to north was simulated in the current scenario. The species records were partitioned in four different datasets and modelled iteratively over a study area enclosing all records: records only from North Africa, from North Africa and South Iberian Peninsula, from North Africa and all the Iberian Peninsula, and from the entire distribution. The complete dataset was also used to extrapolate the model to a current and future global environmental scenarios. The models were compared by subtraction per pairs and by Cohen's Kappa. No spatio-temporal trends were detected in species records; therefore, the hypothesis of a recent expansion is nor supported. The species spread only to the Mediterranean part of the Iberian Peninsula when modelling only with African records, and to Europe when modelling also with Iberian records. The extrapolation models were moderately similar: large suitable areas were predicted in all the continents. Temperature variables contributed more to models. The species can expand to new suitable areas, although it is not possible to know if it would expand outside the biogeographical regions where the species is present.

Affiliations: 1: Centro de Investigação em Ciências Geo-Espaciais (CICGE), Universidade do Porto, Departamento de Matemática Aplicada, Rua do Campo Alegre, 687, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal;, Email:


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