Macro- and microhabitat relationships among lizards of sandridge desert in central Australia
Fiona J. Downey, Chris R. Dickman, 1993. "Macro- and microhabitat relationships among lizards of sandridge desert in central Australia", Herpetology in Australia: A Diverse Discipline, Daniel Lunney, Danielle Ayers
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Macro- and microhabitat relationships were analysed within a lizard community from the Simpson Desert, Queensland, Australia. Three macrohabitat categories (dune crest, side and swale) and six microhabitat variables (soil hardness and five ground cover estimates) were investigated. Most captures of lizards (46%) and 25 of 36 species were found on dune crests, with four species being restricted almost exclusively to crests. Proportions of captures were less on dune sides and swales (28 and 26% respectively) than on crests, but 25 and 28 species respectively occurred in these habitats. At the microhabitat level the variables most frequently associated with abundance of different species of lizard were soil hardness and cover of spinifex Triodia basedowii. Microhabitat associations reflect selection by individuals for local sites that provide specific shelter, foraging or thermoregulation requirements, but firm conclusions are difficult to draw due to auto-correlation between microhabitat variables and limited knowledge of the autecology of most species. We conclude that differences in habitat provide an important axis for species separation among desert lizards, and that local species diversity is enhanced by dune topography.