The LizLand model : geomorphic landform and surface composition analysis of lizard habitat in the California Mojave Desert Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/7m01bq07m

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  • This dissertation had three main objectives: 1) investigate the role of macro and micro geomorphology in determining lizard distributions in the Southern California Mojave Desert; 2) develop a spatially explicit lizard habitat model based upon geomorphology; and, 3) determine the interactive effects of geomorphology, roads, and land use in defining lizard habitat. To achieve these objectives a new concept of reptile habitat was developed. Primary field data on presence/absence of lizards in relation to macro and micro geomorphology were collected for three conspicuous and widely distributed Mojave Desert lizard species: Cnemidophorus tigris, Callisaurus draconoides, and Uta stansburiana. Study sites were distributed between the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) and Joshua Tree National Park (JOTR) in the Southern California Mojave Desert. Chapter 2 develops a new concept of reptile habitat in and environments. This concept is based upon geomorphic landform and surface composition, which are used to distinguish lizard macro and micro-habitat components. The micro-habitat requirements of individual species are linked to macro geomorphic landforms via their mutual microhabitat characterizations. Chapter 3 describes the development of the spatially explicit LizLand habitat model. LizLand is based on the concept of reptile habitat developed and described in Chapter 2. Digital data used to construct the model include geomorphic landform, surface composition, hydrologic, and elevation data. The model is validated for MCAGCC using secondary species locational data and developed for two additional species for which no primary data were collected. The implications of LizLand for military land management are discussed. The final paper explores in greater depth the relationship between Callisaurus draconoides and the geomorphic landform habitat class alluvial plains. It compares C. draconoides observations on unpaved alluvial plain roads to surrounding habitats and observations between MCAGCC and JOTR. Finally, it considers the use of C. draconoides as an indicator species given its affinity for unpaved alluvial plain roads.
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