Landscape correlates of sand racer species (Lacertidae; <em>Psammodromus</em>) segregation in their contact area along the Conquense Drove Road (Cuenca, Iberian Peninsula)
Keywords:Psammodromus hispanicus, Psammodromus edwarsianus, distribution, niche differentiation, allopatry
The Edwards’s sand racer (Psammodromus edwarsianus) was recognised as distinct from the Spanish sand racer (P. hispanicus) a decade ago, but both their distributions and interspecific range limits are poorly defined. Results of sampling both species along 70km of the Conquense Drove Road (Central Spain) indicate a clear North/South segregation, with P. edwarsianus inhabit- ing the area North of Las Pedroñeras and P. hispanicus the South. The segregation corresponds with lithological and vegetation differences, hard calcareous substrates in the North and softer sandy sedimentary material in the South. The latter is associated with more intensive agricultural land-use in contrast to the persistence of copses and scrub on the calcareous terrain. The results provide new data on the regional distribution of both species. They also highlight the potential value of this species-pair as a model for study of interactions and habitat segregation in lacertids.
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