Changes in the structure of assemblages of Liolaemus (Liolaemidae: Liolaemus) lizards in a protected area of south-central Chile affected by a mixed-severity wildfire

  • Alfredo Zúñiga Universidad de Los Lagos
Keywords: assemblage, locomotion, microhabitat, overlap, severity

Abstract

The use of space by sympatric lizards was assessed in a protected area in south central Chile that was affected by a wildfire three years prior. Through systematic monitoring in plots with varying degrees of severity, the abundance of species was counted in each treatment (low severity, medium severity, high severity and unburned control), and were, in turn, subdivided into different microhabitats (ground, trunks and trees). The microhabitats were differentiated by the level of damage suffered by the vegetation as a consequence of the wildfire. Of the three species recorded, it was observed that the presence of Liolaemus tenuis was linked to sites with less fire damage, disappearing in high severity sites. In contrast, L. pictus displayed a more generalist use of microhabitats, with its presence being similar in the different treatments. On the other hand, L. lemniscatus showed a predominant use of the ground, which became more evident in the most severe sites. The pattern found are discussed, as well the influence of fire in reshaping environments.

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Published
2020-09-20
How to Cite
Zúñiga, A. (2020). Changes in the structure of assemblages of Liolaemus (Liolaemidae: Liolaemus) lizards in a protected area of south-central Chile affected by a mixed-severity wildfire. Zoodiversity, 54(4), 265-274. https://doi.org/10.15407/zoo2020.04.265