species distribution models; SDM; ecological modelling; environmental predictors; Black Sea region; biological invasions;
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The terrestrial snails Brephulopsis cylindrica and Xeropicta derbentina are native to steppes of the Northern Black Sea region and; X. derbentina has also initially inhabited Eastern Mediterranean, the Caucasus, and Anatolia. However, in last decades the species are increasingly reported outside of their natural range which renders them as likely invasive. The paper aims to assess the ecological suitability of adjacent habitats in terms of the molluscs invasion. We address this using species distribution modelling (SDM). The selected environment predictors for SDM included 22 environment factors such as land cover, enhanced vegetation index (EVI), altitude, and 19 bioclimatic parameters. This suggests that the area with maximum suitability extends from the natural range to the Central Danube lowland in the West and up to the Volga Upland in the Northeast. These regions have similar EVI and are largely croplands. Among the predictors, the minimum temperature of the coldest month has the greatest impact on the modelling results, which agrees with the variable being the limiting factor for the distribution of subtropical invertebrates. The study reinforces the notions that X. derbentina and B. cylindrica are likely to further expand the boundaries of their range thus posing threats to native ecosystems.

Моделирование распространения наземных моллюсков-вселенцев Brephulopsis cylindrica and Xeropicta derbentina (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora)
Адамова В.В.; Орлов М.А.; Шелудков А.В.;