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      Use of microhabitat and activity patterns of two lizard species from a seasonal dry forest in northern Colombia

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      Neotropical Biology and Conservation

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          In this work, the microhabitat use and activity patterns of two lizard species with sympatric distribution were evaluated in a dry forest fragment within the department of Sucre, northern Colombia. Data was collected in May, June, September and October of 2017, using the active search method limited by time (7:00 and 19:00 hours). Substrates used, spatial distribution and time of capture were recorded for individuals of the species Loxopholis rugiceps (Cope 1869) and Lepidoblepharis sanctaemartae (Ruthven 1916). Complementarily, environmental and physical parameters were recorded, which allowed us to characterise the microhabitats of the species. A total of 276 lizards were recorded, 177 belonging to the species Loxopholis rugiceps and 99 to Lepidoblepharis sanctaemartae. The results showed similar resource use by the two species for the spatial dimension, with both exploiting different terrestrial elements mainly from the interior forest, followed by the riverbed stream and forest edge. Differences were found in the daily activity patterns between species, with individuals of L. sanctaemartae more frequently recorded in the morning hours and L. rugiceps in the afternoon hours. The activity patterns did not differ by age groups: juveniles and adults. Both species were more frequently found in the litter substrate within the forest, followed by rocks and bare ground. Our results indicate that both species are tolerant to matrix conditions, however, they require internal forest conditions to exploit food resources and refuge.

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          Most cited references 21

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          The Structure of Lizard Communities

           E Pianka (1973)
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            Why tropical forest lizards are vulnerable to climate warming.

            Biological impacts of climate warming are predicted to increase with latitude, paralleling increases in warming. However, the magnitude of impacts depends not only on the degree of warming but also on the number of species at risk, their physiological sensitivity to warming and their options for behavioural and physiological compensation. Lizards are useful for evaluating risks of warming because their thermal biology is well studied. We conducted macrophysiological analyses of diurnal lizards from diverse latitudes plus focal species analyses of Puerto Rican Anolis and Sphaerodactyus. Although tropical lowland lizards live in environments that are warm all year, macrophysiological analyses indicate that some tropical lineages (thermoconformers that live in forests) are active at low body temperature and are intolerant of warm temperatures. Focal species analyses show that some tropical forest lizards were already experiencing stressful body temperatures in summer when studied several decades ago. Simulations suggest that warming will not only further depress their physiological performance in summer, but will also enable warm-adapted, open-habitat competitors and predators to invade forests. Forest lizards are key components of tropical ecosystems, but appear vulnerable to the cascading physiological and ecological effects of climate warming, even though rates of tropical warming may be relatively low.
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              Physiological Consequences of Habitat Selection

               Raymond Huey (1991)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Neotropical Biology and Conservation
                NBC
                Pensoft Publishers
                2236-3777
                June 08 2020
                June 08 2020
                : 15
                : 2
                : 153-164
                Article
                10.3897/neotropical.15.e49713
                © 2020

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