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Local segregation of realised niches in lizards

Sillero, Neftalí; Argaña, Elena; Matos, Cátia; Franch, Marc; Kaliontzopoulou, Antigoni; Carretero, Miguel A.


Neftalí Sillero

Elena Argaña

Marc Franch

Antigoni Kaliontzopoulou

Miguel A. Carretero


Species can occupy different realised niches when sharing the space with other congeneric species or when living in allopatry. Ecological niche models are powerful tools to analyse species niches and their changes over time and space. Analysing how species’ realised niches shift is paramount in ecology. Here, we examine the ecological realised niche of three species of wall lizards in six study areas: three areas where each species occurs alone; and three areas where they occur together in pairs. We compared the species’ realised niches and how they vary depending on species’ coexistence, by quantifying niche overlap between pairs of species or populations with the R package ecospat. For this, we considered three environmental variables (temperature, humidity, and wind speed) recorded at each lizard re-sighting location. Realised niches were very similar when comparing syntopic species occurring in the same study area. However, realised niches differed when comparing conspecific populations across areas. In each of the three areas of syntopy, the less abundant species shift its realised niche. Our study demonstrates that sympatry may shift species’ realised niche.


Sillero, N., Argaña, E., Matos, C., Franch, M., Kaliontzopoulou, A., & Carretero, M. A. (2020). Local segregation of realised niches in lizards. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 9(12), Article 764.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 18, 2020
Online Publication Date Dec 21, 2020
Publication Date 2020-12
Deposit Date Dec 14, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 15, 2022
Journal ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Electronic ISSN 2220-9964
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 12
Article Number 764
Keywords Iberian peninsula; Niche conservatism; Reptiles; R package ecospat; Spatial segregation
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Copyright Statement
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

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