Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA
Effects of Climate Change on The Potential Distribution of 12 Endemic Lizards of The Genus Plestiodon of Mexico
Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Dr. Frederic Zaidan III
Dr. Teresa Patricia Feria
Dr. Frank Dirrigl
Anthropogenic global climate change is a large scale threat to biodiversity. Species distribution models (SDMs) were created to assess the possible effects of climate change on the distribution of 12 Plestiodon lizards of Mexico. Species presence data was obtained from online databases, literature, and field data. Occurrences were correlated with 19 climatic variables from www.worldclim.org to model species' current suitable habitat. These models were then projected to future (2050) conditions for which bioclimatic information was downloaded from the CCAFS website. Forecasts were made using 4 General Circulatory Models, 2 IPCC scenarios, and the software MaxEnt. Models were replicated 10 times using the cross-validation option in MaxEnt, and evaluated using the AUC on a ROC plot. Findings showed AUC scores >0.9, demonstrating a robust level of accuracy for the models obtained from MaxEnt. Suitable habitat for most species will contract significantly. These findings may help establish sound conservation programs for these species.
University of Texas-Pan American
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