The composition of Urodela assemblages is regulated by macro- and microclimatic conditions and by the interactions established between ecologically analogous species. Species of the North African Urodela are distributed unevenly; some species have large ranges whereas others occur in fragmented populations or in restricted ranges. We examined the niches occupied by these species to determine the factors that regulate their range patterns. The niches were examined at two spatial levels; regionally, using climatic and vegetation cover data, and locally by studying the selection of aquatic habitats. Our results indicate that Salamandra algira (North African fire salamander) and North African Pleurodeles species are segregated along a thermal and vegetation cover axis, although with considerable overlap. The fragmentation observed in the distribution of the North African Urodela is caused by prevailing arid conditions in the region. The three Pleurodeles species appear under similar climate conditions and mostly use temporary ponds to breed. There is some overlap comparing species from both genera in the selection of breeding habitats, but the North African Pleurodeles species occur in ponds with higher water temperatures than do S. algira. Preserving temporary ponds, streams, and springs is essential for conserving these species, particularly under the semiarid conditions that favor the fragmentation of their populations.

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