Evol Ecol Res 19: 215-226 (2018)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

How will climate change affect the temporal and spatial distributions of a reservoir host, the Indian gerbil (Tatera indica), and the spread of zoonotic diseases that it carries?

Kordiyeh Hamidi1, Saeed Mohammadi2 and Naeimeh Eskandarzadeh3

1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran, 2Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran and 3Young Researchers and Elite Club, Islamic Azad University, Shirvan Branch, Shirvan, Iran

Correspondence: K. Hamidi, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran. email: kordiyeh.hamidi@yahoo.com; kordiyeh.hamidiloyen@mail.um.ac.ir


Background: The Indian gerbil (Tatera indica) is a main reservoir host of cutaneous leishmaniasis, a great public health problem in many rural areas of Iran.

Questions: How do climatic variables affect the habitat suitability and distribution of T. indica? How will changes in climatic variables affect the spatial distribution of T. indica across Iran? Will those changes influence the outbreak regions of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis?

Organism: The Indian gerbil, T. indica, a rodent.

Analytical methods: Maximum entropy modelling (MaxEnt) to predict suitable regions and the potential distribution of this gerbil in the present and future in Iran.

Results: Species distribution models revealed the four variables most effective in determining Indian gerbil occurrence: the mean precipitation of the year’s driest month; the seasonality of precipitation; the mean temperature of the warmest quarter of the year; and the mean temperature of the wettest quarter. According to our model, the southern parts of Iran have the most suitable habitat for T. indica. With global climate change, suitable habitats for the gerbil will increase considerably in Iran spreading outwards toward the southwest, centrally, and the northeast.

Conclusions: Our results may be used to estimate outbreaks and prevalence of cutaneous leishmaniasis (as well as other infectious diseases which this gerbil carries).

Keywords: climate change, ectoparasites, Indian gerbil, leishmaniasis, species distribution projections.

IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.


        © 2018 Kordiyeh Hamidi. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

       Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.

       All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.