Organization of Squamata (Reptilia) assemblages in Mediterranean archipelagos
Escoriza, Daniel (2021), Organization of Squamata (Reptilia) assemblages in Mediterranean archipelagos, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9ghx3ffdc
Mediterranean islands have complex reptile assemblages, but little is known about the factors that determine their organisation. In this study, the structure of assemblages of Squamata was evaluated based on their species richness and two measures of phylogenetic diversity (variability and clustering). I evaluated the composition of the assemblages comparing distinct biogeographic sub-regions within the Mediterranean: Adriatic, Aegean, Balearic, Corsica–Sardinia, Crete, Gulf of Gabés, Ionian Sea, Ligurian Sea, Malta, Sicily, and Tyrrhenian Sea. The effect of island environments and geographical isolation on the diversity metrics was assessed using generalized linear models. The analyses indicated that species richness was mostly influenced by island area and geographical isolation. Assemblages on smaller islands were poorer in species and phylogenetically dispersed, possibly as an effect of interspecific competition. The species composition of the assemblages was determined by similar environmental drivers within the biogeographic sub-regions, including island area, island elevation, geographical isolation, and aridity. In several sub-regions, significant patterns of phylogenetic attraction were found in species co-occurrences, caused by the limits imposed by the island size on large predatory species.