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Influence of past and future climate changes on the distribution of three Southeast Asian murine rodents

Latinne A., Meynard C.N., Herbreteau V., Waengsothorn S., Morand S., Michaux J.. 2015. Journal of Biogeography, 42 (9) : p. 1714-1726.

DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12528

Aim We tested the influence of Pleistocene climatic fluctuations and the potential effect of future climate change on Southeast Asian small mammal distributions using two forest-dwelling (Leopoldamys herberti and Leopoldamys sabanus) and one karst (Leopoldamys neilli) endemic rodent species as models. Location Southeast Asia. Methods We used presence¿absence data of genetically identified individuals, bioclimatic variables and species distribution modelling techniques to predict potential distributions of the three studied species under current, past [Last Interglacial (LIG) and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM)] and future conditions. We applied a variety of modelling techniques and then used consensus techniques to draw up robust maps of potential distribution ranges at all stages. Results According to our models, these three Leopoldamys species did not experience significant range contraction during the LGM. Our models revealed substantial range contraction during the LIG for L. herberti in northern Indochina, while its distribution expanded in southern Indochina. Evidence of a southward range expansion during that period was also obtained for L. neilli, whereas L. sabanus remained widely distributed in insular Southeast Asia but experienced a range contraction on the Thai-Malay Peninsula. The two future climate change scenarios used predicted that large climatically suitable areas would still be available in the future for the three species. Main conclusions Our model predictions contradict the well-established hypothesis that Southeast Asian forest-dwelling species were confined to small refugia during the LGM. Moreover, our results suggest that some Southeast Asian taxa may have been distributed in their refugial state during the LIG rather than the LGM. This could be because of vegetation changes that may have occurred at that time as a result of the increased seasonality observed during the LIG. These Pleistocene refugia may have been localized in northern Indochina but our study also revealed that southern Indochina could provide major potential refugia.

Mots-clés : rongeur; modèle de simulation; dynamique des populations; distribution géographique; changement climatique; froid; Évaluation du risque; Écologie animale; asie du sud-est; thaïlande; république démocratique populaire lao; cambodge; leopoldamys herberti; leopoldamys sabanus; leopoldamys neilli

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