Freshwater Crayfish 19(2): 189-195 (2013)
PEER REVIEWED RESEARCH ARTICLE
Modelling Environmental Niche for the Endangered Crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes Complex in Northern and Central Italy
The potential distribution of endangered species is a necessary step to assess species conservation status and manage reintroduction plans. In the context of a EU project on the endangered Austropotamobius pallipes complex, we modelled the environmental niche of the species in two large areas of Northern (Lombardy, 43 records) and Central Italy (Abruzzo, Province of Isernia, Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park; 69 records). Ecological niche models (ENMs) were built by using the maximum entropy approach as implemented in the MaxEnt software, which predicts the occurrence of a species using presence-only data. The environmental niche was modelled using six variables: altitude, slope, aspect, human disturbance, mean temperature of warmest quarter and distance from stream. Each study area was modelled independently. Both ENMs obtained high performance scores as measured by the AUC index (Northern Italy: 0.854; Central Italy: 0.817). Slope in Northern Italy and the mean temperature of warmest quarter in Central Italy achieved the greatest predictive power. Our results clearly show that the endangered white-clawed crayfish has a narrow range of habitat selection in the two study areas. Our findings may help researchers to select the best sites for future reintroductions in conservation projects.
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How to Cite
Daniela Ghia D, Fea G, Sacchi R, Di Renzo G, Garozzo P, Marrone M, Piccoli F, Porfirio S, Santillo D, Salvatore B, Scoccia M, Di Francesco M, Fracassi G, Comini B, Pagliani T and Nardi PA. (2013). Modelling Environmental Niche for the Endangered Crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes Complex in Northern and Central Italy. Freshwater Crayfish 19(2):189-195. doi: 10.5869/fc.2013.v19-2.189.
Daniela Ghia D, Fea G, Sacchi R, Di Renzo G, Garozzo P, Marrone M, Piccoli F, Porfirio S, Santillo D, Salvatore B, Scoccia M, Di Francesco M, Fracassi G, Comini B, Pagliani T and Nardi PA