Investigating the relationship between haplotype diversity of Asia minor spiny mouse (Acomys cilicicus) and environmental factors
Keywords:Acomys cilicicus, environmental factors, haplotype diversity, geographically weighted regression, species conservation
Species conservation is at the center of biodiversity conservation. However, it is not enough for today's enormous environmental changes. Biodiversity conservation needs more sophisticated and holistic approaches rather than a simple descriptive approach. Understanding complicated ecological relations and the genetic makeup of a species should therefore be part of conservation studies. In the study, we aimed to identify the Acomys cilicicus' haplotype diversity for CYTB, GHR, and RAG2 genes and to explore spatial relationships between environmental factors and haplotype diversity of each gene. The spatial distribution pattern of haplotype diversity of genes was estimated using the Geographically weighted regression (GWR) model and Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) interpolation, respectively. Moreover, the Monte Carlo permutation test was applied to reveal the relationship pattern between environmental predictors and haplotype diversity through local coefficient estimates. As a result, a logistic prediction map of the GWR model was obtained to indicate the distribution of haplotype diversity of genes. Outputs also showed considerable spatial variability in local coefficients estimates with the negative or positive association, and it was understood that the distribution pattern of haplotype diversity is delineated accordingly. In that context, it was concluded that local fluctuations of environmental conditions might negatively affect the haplotype diversity of genes, thus decreasing the species' adaptability to environmental changes. Outputs of the study are valuable to support the conservation efforts of the target species and can be a guide for species with similar characteristics.
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