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Behavioural responses of the lizard "Pedioplanis l. lineoocellata" to overgrazing

  • We studied the effects of overgrazing on the foraging behaviour of the lizard Pedioplanis l. lineoocellata (Spotted Sand Lizard), a sit-and-wait forager, in habitats of differing vegetation states to determine the effects of habitat degradation on this species. At high grazing intensity where vegetation cover and diversity is low, the lizard P. lineoocellata moves more frequently, spends more time moving and covers larger distances than in habitats where vegetation cover and diversity is high. These behavioural changes in movement patterns can be explained by less abundant prey in habitats with low vegetation cover and diversity. Although morphology, phylogeny and physiology of P. lineoocellata should constrain the change in foraging behaviour, the species has modified its foraging strategy from sit- and-wait to actively foraging. We assume that this behavioural flexibility of P. lineoocellata is a buffer mechanism enabling the species to use and survive in degraded (unfavourable) habitats.

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Author:Bernd Wasiolka, Niels Blaum, Florian JeltschORCiDGND, Joh Henschel
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2009
Year of Completion:2009
Release Date:2017/03/25
Source:Acta oecologica. - ISSN 1146-609X. - 35 (2009), 2, S. 157 - 162
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert