Environmental niche divergence of species from <i>Merodon ruficornis</i> group (Diptera: Syrphidae)


  • Jelena Ačanski BioSense Institute, University of Novi Sad, Dr. Zorana Đinđića 1, 21000 Novi Sad
  • Marija Miličić Department of Biology and Ecology, University of Novi Sad, Trg Dositeja Obradovića 2, 21000 Novi Sad
  • Laura Likov Department of Biology and Ecology, University of Novi Sad, Trg Dositeja Obradovića 2, 21000 Novi Sad
  • Dubravka Milić Department of Biology and Ecology, University of Novi Sad, Trg Dositeja Obradovića 2, 21000 Novi Sad
  • Snežana Radenković Department of Biology and Ecology, University of Novi Sad, Trg Dositeja Obradovića 2, 21000 Novi Sad
  • Ante Vujić Department of Biology and Ecology, University of Novi Sad, Trg Dositeja Obradovića 2, 21000 Novi Sad


environmental niche, PCA, MAXENT, ENMTools, Merodon ruficornis group


In this paper we analyzed environmental differentiation of closely related species from the Merodon ruficornis group. By applying principal component analysis (PCA) and environmental niche modelling (ENM)-based techniques, we estimated the level of niche divergence of closely related species. Our results indicate that ecology has an important role in the diversification process in related species from the M. ruficornis group. Distribution patterns of all analyzed species are mainly affected by the limiting effects of the temperature of the coldest quarter and month, as well as by the precipitation of the wettest and driest quarters. Our results demonstrated that among all related species, with the exception of M. ovaloides, overall or partial divergence in environmental space is present. Importantly, the results indicate that the environmental niches of all endemic species are restricted to smaller parts of the environmental space. In the case of niche overlap, the niches of endemic species are placed along the border of the realized niche of the widespread related species. For species in which distribution is not limited by geographical barriers, environmental preferences could be considered as limiting factors for further expansion, as in the case of M. alexandri, a lowland species with very strict climatic adaptations. Knowledge about the environmental factors that might influence the diversification process can provide an explanation for the high diversity in other Merodon species groups.


Received: March 3, 2016; Revised: April 8, 2016; Accepted: May 10, 2016; Published online: October 17, 2016

How to cite this article: Ačanski J, Miličić M, Likov L, Milić D, Radenković S, Vujić A. Environmental niche divergence of species from Merodon ruficornis group (Diptera: Syrphidae). Arch Biol Sci. 2017;69(2):247-59.


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How to Cite

Ačanski J, Miličić M, Likov L, Milić D, Radenković S, Vujić A. Environmental niche divergence of species from &lt;i&gt;Merodon ruficornis&lt;/i&gt; group (Diptera: Syrphidae). Arch Biol Sci [Internet]. 2017May25 [cited 2023Sep.28];69(2):247-59. Available from: https://www.serbiosoc.org.rs/arch/index.php/abs/article/view/272




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