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Title: Preliminary assessment of changes in a lizard assemblage at an ecotone in southeastern Arizona

Author: Jones, Lawrence L. C.;

Date: 2013

Source: In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Collins, Loa C. Merging science and management in a rapidly changing world: Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago III and 7th Conference on Research and Resource Management in the Southwestern Deserts; 2012 May 1-5; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings. RMRS-P-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 48-52.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: The Madrean Archipelago and its associated valleys have the highest diversity of lizards in the United States. This is due to a convergence of ecoregions in an area that provides excellent environmental conditions for life history needs of terrestrial ectotherms. The study area, near Safford, Arizona, is known to have about 20 species of sympatric lizards, although only about one-half are common. The lizard community is represented by species of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, semi-desert grasslands, and lower Madrean and boreal woodlands. It has recently been suggested that lizard species are expected to decline globally due to climate change and other reasons. A study site representing an ecotone between desert and grassland/ montane/riparian vegetation types in a foothills situation was chosen, as ecotones are marginal habitats that are expected to be sensitive to environmental change. Study objectives were to assess the baseline lizard community and detect changes in the lizard assemblage over time due to climate change and other factors. During systematic road transects, a total of 3,889 lizards representing 13 species were recorded during 60 visits in 2003 (n = 8 visits), 2010 (n = 12,) and 2011 (n = 40). Although this represents the early stages of a long-term monitoring program, preliminary observations show differences in the lizard assemblage between years consistent with climate change predictions.

Keywords: Madrean Archipelago, Sky Islands, southwestern United States, northern Mexico, natural environment, fauna, flora, research, management, biodiversity, climate change

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Citation:


Jones, Lawrence L. C. 2013. Preliminary assessment of changes in a lizard assemblage at an ecotone in southeastern Arizona. In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Collins, Loa C. Merging science and management in a rapidly changing world: Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago III and 7th Conference on Research and Resource Management in the Southwestern Deserts; 2012 May 1-5; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings. RMRS-P-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 48-52.

 


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