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Botanical Sciences

versão On-line ISSN 2007-4476versão impressa ISSN 2007-4298


LOPEZ-SANDOVAL, José Antonio et al. Modeling the environmental factors that determine the distribution of synanthropic species of Physalis. Bot. sci [online]. 2015, vol.93, n.4, pp.755-764. ISSN 2007-4476.

The modeling of the distribution of synanthropic (weedy) species and the environmental factors that determine their distribution is not well studied. Physalis has 90 species distributed in the Americas, and several in the Old World. Mexico harbors about 70 species and approximately 35 are endemic. The section Angulatae includes 10 species, all synanthropic to some degree. The species tended to concentrate in the Sierra Madre Occidental, the Sierra Madre del Sur, and the Transmexican Volcanic Belt. The aim of this work was to model and identify the environmental variables that determine the potential distribution of the ten species of Physalis sect. Angulatae. A total of 524 records that had been verified by the taxonomic experts of the group and 20 environmental variables were used; 12 were climatic, and the other eight were novel and of different types: three soil properties, two normalized differential vegetation indexes and three topographic attributes. The models were obtained with the Maxent algorithm. The results of the modelling showed that the most suitable habitat for the persistence of eight species was delimited by the normalized differential vegetation index during the dry months of the year, the soil organic matter, the elevation and the aspect, which together explained between the 73 and 91 % of the variation in its distribution. Other groups of factors like total precipitation and isthermality determined the distribution of P. crassifolia and P. glabra, respectively. We show that the novel environmental factors such as the normalized differential vegetation index and the soil properties were decisive predictors in the potential distribution of the species in the section Angulatae.

Palavras-chave : maximum entropy; environmental predictors; Angulatae section; tomatillos.

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