Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Fisheries and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources and Earth Sciences, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

3 Hormozgan Provincial Office of Department of Environment, Bandar Abbas, Iran


In the present study intraspecific differences of the Meriones persicus populations were investigated based on traditional morphometry using the external and cranial characters in the south central of Iran. Totally 89 specimens of M. persicus were collected in three regions of the area (Geno protected area, Minab county, and Anjerk prohibited hunting area). Five external and 15 cranial characters were measured. In order to represent the significant differences in sizes observed among the three populations, the one-way ANOVA was applied. Our results demonstrated that nine out of 20 measured morphological characters of the populations in the study areas are significantly different (P<0.05). The results of MANOVA showed statistically significant differences among the populations of the three regions based on the morphometric characters (F=15.968, P<0.001; Wilk's Λ = 0.039, partial η2 = 0.802). The principal component analysis (PCA) on the cranial parameters showed that two first components can justify 54.3% and 23.1% of total variance respectively. For the external parameters, the first two principal component axes (PC1 and PC2) explained 83.6% (55.2% and 28.4%, respectively) of the variation in size among the populations. Discriminant function analysis correctly classified the populations to regions with a high degree of reliability (97.8%). This study confirms the possibility of the presence of intraspecific variations among the populations of the three regions.


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