Effects of Sand Grain Size on Habitat Selection in Steppe Toad-headed Lizard(Phrynocephalus frontalis)

【Author】

Shengnan JI;Xue LIAN;Zhigang JIANG;Lili LI;Junhuai BI;Chunwang LI;Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences;College of Life Science, Inner Mongolia Normal University;College of Life Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences;

【Institution】

Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences;College of Life Science, Inner Mongolia Normal University;College of Life Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences;

【Abstract】

To understand the effects of sand grain size on habitat selection, we conducted a field study on the steppe toad-headed lizard in Hunshandake Desert northern China. Methods of mark-recapture and transect survey were used to investigate the density of steppe toad-headed lizards and the environmental variables. The comparison on lizard densities among the habitats with different environmental factors revealed that: 1) population density of the steppe toad-headed lizard differed significantly among the habitats with different sand grain size indexes(SGSIs, representing roughness of sand substrate): the highest lizard density was found in the group with an SGSI of > 0.30, whereas the lowest density was found in the group with an SGSI of 0–0.15; and 2) vegetation cover, soil moisture, invertebrate diversity index, and abundance had no significant effects on the lizard density. These results implied that the sand grain size was the most important determinant of habitat selection for steppe toad-headed lizards in Hunshandake Desert. Steppe toad-headed lizards could avoid structural habitats that have negative effects on their maximal sprinting capabilities. Considering the changing sand grain size in the development phase of sand dunes, the sand lizard could be used as an indicator of the process of desertification.

【Keywords】

habitat preference;;agama lizard;;sand substrate;;desert grassland

References

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Total: 51 articles

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  • [3] WANG Li-bing~(1,2), HU Xiao-long~2,YU Wei-li~2,LI Gang-tie~1,GUO Jian-ying~(1,2)(1 Inner Mongolia Agricultural University,Huhhot 010019,Inner Mongolia,China;2 Inner Mongolia Academy of Forestry Science,Huhhot 010019,Inner Mongolia,China), Spatial heterogeneity of granule diameter and its relation with shrub size and soil erosion, Arid Land Geography, 2006 (05)
  • [4] Xue LIAN;Zhigang JIANG;Xiaoge PING;Songhua TANG;Junhuai BI;Chunwang LI;Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology,Institute of Zoology,Chinese Academy of Sciences;College of Life Science and Technology,Inner Mongolia Normal University;, Spatial Distribution Pattern of the Steppe Toad-headed Lizard(Phrynocephalus frontalis) and Its Influencing Factors, Asian Herpetological Research, 2012 (01)

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