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Biology and Conservation of Musteloids$
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David W. Macdonald, Chris Newman, and Lauren A. Harrington

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198759805

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198759805.001.0001

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Competition and coexistence in sympatric skunks

Competition and coexistence in sympatric skunks

(p.464) Chapter 24 Competition and coexistence in sympatric skunks
Biology and Conservation of Musteloids

Christine C. Hass

Jerry W. Dragoo

Oxford University Press

Ecological niches of three species of skunks (Mephitidae: Conepatus leuconotus, Mephitis mephitis, M. macroura) in and near their overlap zone in the American Southwest were studied to determine if competition may be limiting distribution of these species. A species distribution model developed in MaxEnt was used to identify suitable habitat for each species, from which contact zones for each species pair were identified. Principal components derived from habitat and climate variables inside and outside of contact zones for each species, and between species pairs within the contact zone were then compared. Species differed in environmental space inside and outside of contact zones, but species pairs did not differ within contact zones, indicating no evidence of competitive exclusion, and possible niche convergence at a broad spatial scale

Keywords:   Competition, competitive exclusion, ecological niche model, hog-nosed skunks, hooded skunk, MaxEnt, Mephitidae, niche convergence, species distribution model, striped skunk

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