Shengnan JI,Xue LIAN,Zhigang JIANG,et al.Effects of Sand Grain Size on Habitat Selection in Steppe Toad-headed Lizard (Phrynocephalus frontalis )[J].Asian Herpetological Research(AHR),2017,8(2):123-130.[doi:10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.160014]
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Effects of Sand Grain Size on Habitat Selection in Steppe Toad-headed Lizard (Phrynocephalus frontalis )
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Asian Herpetological Research[ISSN:2095-0357/CN:51-1735/Q]

2017 VoI.8 No.2
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Effects of Sand Grain Size on Habitat Selection in Steppe Toad-headed Lizard (Phrynocephalus frontalis )
Shengnan JI1 Xue LIAN2 Zhigang JIANG13 Lili LI1 Junhuai BI2* and Chunwang LI13*
1 Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2 College of Life Science, Inner Mongolia Normal University, Hohhot 010022, China
3 College of Life Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 101408, China
habitat preference agama lizard sand substrate desert grassland
To understand the effects of sand grain size on habitat selection, we conducted a field study on the steppe toad-headed lizard in Hunshandake Desert northern China. Methods of mark-recapture and transect survey were used to investigate the density of steppe toad-headed lizards and the environmental variables. The comparison on lizard densities among the habitats with different environmental factors revealed that: 1) population density of the steppe toad-headed lizard differed significantly among the habitats with different sand grain size indexes (SGSIs, representing roughness of sand substrate): the highest lizard density was found in the group with an SGSI of > 0.30, whereas the lowest density was found in the group with an SGSI of 0–0.15; and 2) vegetation cover, soil moisture, invertebrate diversity index, and abundance had no significant effects on the lizard density. These results implied that the sand grain size was the most important determinant of habitat selection for steppe toad-headed lizards in Hunshandake Desert. Steppe toad-headed lizards could avoid structural habitats that have negative effects on their maximal sprinting capabilities. Considering the changing sand grain size in the development phase of sand dunes, the sand lizard could be used as an indicator of the process of desertification.


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Last Update: 2017-06-25