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Camps D.,General Directorate for Environmental Policy | Villero D.,Center Tecnologic Forestal Of Catalonia Cemfor Ctfc | Ruiz-Olmo J.,Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food | Brotons L.,Center Tecnologic Forestal Of Catalonia Cemfor Ctfc
Mammalian Biology | Year: 2016

The objective of our study was to evaluate the hypothesis that the constraints on the expansion of the range of the common genet (Genetta genetta) in Europe are limitations derived from the species' patterns of habitat selection. From a sample of 2073 genet occurrence data and using species distribution models (SDM) built with Maxent, our results show that temperature-related variables were the main factor explaining the current distribution of the species. The maximum winter temperature was by far the most important environmental constraint of the presence of the species, with genets showing a preference for higher temperatures in the two coldest seasons of the year. Genets appeared also associated to Mediterranean zones, preferred mid-elevations and were more often present in habitats dominated by sclerophyllous vegetation. Our results stongly support the view that the influence of temperature is a major limiting factor that impedes the spread of the genet northwards and eastwards into continental Europe and limits its distribution. Nevertheless, the current spread of its colonization fronts could lead to future changes in its distribution, so it would seem that its expansion has not yet finished. © 2016 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde.

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