Microhabitat Characteristics for Reptiles Lacerta agilis, Zootoca vivipara, Anguis fragilis, Natrix natrix, and Vipera berus in Latvia

Andris Čeirāns

Abstract


Vegetation characteristics for reptile microhabitats were described in circular plots using modified Braun–Blanquet method. The total number of all plots was 280, and they covered the whole territory of Latvia. Microhabitat use among reptile species was examined using Discriminant Function Analysis. The first dicriminant function indicated gradient from mesic to xeric sites, and the second — from disturbed sites to intact dry pine forest sites. Group centroids showed good separation among species. Lacerta agilis preferred xeric sites, and, at the other end of the gradient, both snake species preferred mesic sites with tall herb layer and shrubs. Anguis fragilis often was associated with relatively intact pine forest, while other reptiles — with mainly disturbed sites with grass cover. Important vegetation characteristics for reptile microhabitats are given in an appendix.

Keywords


Vegetation characteristics for reptile microhabitats were described in circular plots using modified Braun–Blanquet method. The total number of all plots was 280, and they covered the whole territory of Latvia. Microhabitat use among reptile species was e

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