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Herpetological Conservation and Biology




Studies investigating managed landscapes are of increasing importance, as fragmentation is a known cause of biodiversity loss. From June to September 2012, we sampled populations of the rare, endemic Florida Scrub Lizard (Sceloporus woodi) across the Ocala National Forest (ONF) to compare lizard density across two managed habitat types. Florida Scrub habitat in the ONF is clearcut and roller-chopped, whereas Longleaf Pine habitat is managed via prescribed burning. We sampled 10 stands of Florida Scrub (2–3 y post disturbance) and 10 stands of Longleaf Pine (1 y post-disturbance) for lizards. We compared lizard density between the interior of each habitat patch and the associated natural surface road habitat surrounding each habitat patch. To compare microhabitat conditions between stand types, we also gathered vegetation and substrate data. Lizards occurred in higher density in recently burned Longleaf Pine than in roller-chopped scrub. Stands of roller-chopped scrub showed a noticeable absence of lizards. Higher lizard density along roads suggests that lizards use natural surface roads extensively. Scrub and longleaf stands differed in several microhabitat conditions, which may be related to differences in density. Further research is needed to examine the effects of disturbance frequency, patch size, and isolation on the overall persistence of the Florida Scrub Lizard population in the ONF.


Copyright © 2015 Matthew D. Kaunert and Lance D. McBrayer. This article was retrieved from Herpetological Conservation and Biology, which is an open-access international journal that publishes original peer-reviewed research, reviews, and perspectives on the ecology, natural history, management, and conservation biology of amphibians and reptiles.