Some lizard-habitat relationships in the Northern Great Basin Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/j098zd00w

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  • Five sympatric species of desert lizards (leopard lizards (Garnbelia wizlizeni), sagebrush lizards (Sceloporus graciosus), side-blotched. lizards (Uta stansburiana), desert horned lizards (Phrynosoma platyrhinos), and Western whiptails (Cnemidophorus tigris)) were studied in June and July of 1978 and 1979 in northern Nevada on the Charles Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge. Lizard distribution, relative abundance, and diversity were determined from bi-monthly, live-capture censuses on 3 different vegetational stands. Stands, characterized by different shrub species and substrates (Budsage-Desert Pavement, Greasewood- Hard Pan, Sagebrush-Sand), were sampled monthly with random line transects for ground cover, shrub height cover, and shrub spacing. The indices to density of Sceloporus graciosus were significantly greater on the Sagebrush-Sand stand than on the other 2, and this species was significantly correlated (R²=0.60) with shrub heights of 61-75 and 91-105 cm. Uta stansburiana was significantly correlated (R² =0.58) with shrub heights of 0-15 cm and occurred exclusively on the Budsage-Desert Pavement stand. Lizard abundances on the Budsage-Desert Pavement stand were twice as high as on the other stands, largely because of the presence of Uta stansburiana. Diversity indices were significantly correlated (R²=0.42) with shrub spacing and shrub heights of 61-75cm. Shrub heights, in conjunction with characteristic substrates, appeared influential in determining lizard distribution, relative abundance, and diversity.
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